Education job fair: twice as many looking; half as many jobs

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425 showed up searching for a job

PHOENIX - Come Monday morning, more than 200 Valley teachers will be out of a job.

Under current budget proposals, the Mesa Unified School District says they have to let the teachers go, along with 100 classified personnel.

Before those teachers are notified, many got the opportunity to find another job.

The University of Phoenix held their 10th annual education job fair at their Hohokam Campus Saturday.

But this year was different: the short list of schools looking to hire only fills one page with just 16 schools on it.

Last year, they had more than 40 schools looking for teachers.

There were long lines to interview with the few schools present that were fortunate enough to be in a position to hire.

About 200 people showed up looking for work last year.

This year that number more than doubled to 425.

People say this grim glance at job prospects represents the industry right now: there are twice as many teachers fighting for half as many jobs.

Many of the teachers at the job fair are victims of the economy and budget cuts.

The fair's attendants were not only teachers looking for their first job or teachers looking to replace the one they just lost, but also people fearful for job security in the current economy.

Because of massive layoffs, there were people at the fair who thought it was time to make themselves more valuable, add credentials and add to their education.

Some were even looking for a career change.