AARP job fair gives hope to older workers

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PHOENIX -- The bleak job market is really affecting Arizonans, but there is hope.

Job fairs are a great way to meet potential employers and we've talked about job fairs before on 3 On Your Side.

AARP Foundation Job Fair Over 40 years old Every Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 1150 S. Seventh Ave. (northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and Buckeye Road) The Emmett McLoughlin Community Training & Education Center

But we came across one job fair that is held every single Friday and this one is a little different because it's geared toward a certain group of people.

Glen Ashorn and Cecile Randall are in a situation that many people are facing right now, but for many at this job fair, there is hope.

"You have a pretty good selection of different employers," Ashorn said. "It's a great opportunity."

After being laid off recently, both Ashorn and Randall say this Phoenix job fair put on by an organization called AARP is exactly what they need.

"It gives you an opportunity to meet a lot of employers at one time," Ashorn said.

"Something we're all dealing with is a sense of helplessness," Randall said.

But Randall said this job fair helps alleviate that helplessness because it's targeted to workers over 55 years of age.

Dan Sarro from AARP says this age group is vital.

"It's critical because, as you and I know, they are competing with younger individuals for those same positions, but they're in a unique peer group because they're hard working, they have a strong work ethic so a lot of these employers are looking to hire the mature worker," Sarro said.

AARP's weekly job fair may focus on applicants 55 and older, but they also encourage applicants who are over 40 to attend as well.

As for Ashorn and Randall, they're optimistic their experience and age will get them back in the job market and are remaining optimistic.

"I'm a people-oriented person with excellent communication skills," Randall said. "I have office skills that go way back to Noah's Ark!"

"I think I'd be an asset to any employer that hired me and I'm a hard worker," Ashorn said.

Many seniors are coming out of retirement because their nest egg is not lasting like they thought so these job fairs are a great way to get back into the job market.