With the borough’s unemployment rate at 9.4%, state Senator James Sanders held a job and career fair at the Hammels Houses in the Rockaways on Monday, Oct. 11, to provide an array of employment opportunities to community members of all ages, education levels and interests.
As of Sept. 5, several federal unemployment benefit programs expired, leaving jobless New Yorkers with more modest state unemployment benefits, or no aid at all, Sanders explained. Nearly 10% of the city’s population, or about 800,000 people, have fallen into that category, leaving families across his district struggling to make ends meet.
“We have been flooded with calls seeking unemployment help since the start of the pandemic,” Sanders said. “As a Marine Corps veteran and the state representative for this community, I believe in leading from the front, so I am bringing employers here, practically to the doorstep of the people who need work the most.”
Sanders hosted a multitude of different employers from various professions seeking to hire people from the community with good-paying jobs with opportunities for stability and advancement. Employers at the Fall Career Fair & Job Expo included Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, NYC Parks, Helmets to Hardhats and the Police Athletic League, among many others.
Senkhet Frazier, a Far Rockaway resident and volunteer with Fathers Alive in the Hood (FAITH), was hired on the spot by the Police Athletic League as an outreach coordinator.
“It was a great day for the community. It was a pleasure to bring resources to the very neighborhood where I was born, grew up and now represent in government,” Sanders said. “I was pleased at how receptive people were as I just handed them flyers. I plan to continue to help people with employment and the economy struggles to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.”