In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced in–person services provided by Herkimer College Career Services and Herkimer Working Solutions Career Center to come to a halt. For months, there was a void in traditional job recruiting practices, but at the same time, essential businesses were hiring, and non-essential workers were facing layoffs, unemployment, and a new reality to job searching.
The strong partnership between Herkimer College and Working Solutions enabled a creative and unique approach to the unemployment challenges faced by many of our community members. Working together with the Department of Labor, the organizations collaborated to organize and facilitate the region’s first Drive-Thru Job Fair on September 17 in the parking lot of Herkimer College’s Wehrum Stadium.
Fifteen companies participated in the event, and cars were lining up at the stadium a half-hour early. Job seekers remained in their cars, and each was given a bag containing materials from the companies. They then proceeded to drive to each company station for a brief conversation with a recruiter—masks were mandatory.
Cars drove through the parking lot for the duration of the two-hour event, as over 40 people attended. Attendees expressed gratitude, as this was the first time since March they could meet with recruiters face–to–face in hopes of restarting their livelihoods.