Chelsea Recreation Center

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Forty companies, 600 job-training participants and tons of opportunity came together last Thursday at the seventh semi-annual job fair at the Chelsea Recreation Center in lower Manhattan. Parks & Recreation’s Parks Opportunity Program (POP) welcomed employers from various industries, who in turn gave Job Training Participants (JTPs) the opportunity to meet with them and discuss their skills.

"The POP job fairs allow the participants to focus on their job search, motivating them to continue to pursue many employment opportunities even after the event is over," said Chief of Parks Opportunity Program Jill Weber. "We loved the Chelsea Recreation Center venue and have gotten great feedback from the employers."

Several employers, including 1199 Union, Baruch College and Bath and Body Works, conducted interviews with participants on-site, a rare but exciting occasion at a first-round job fair.

Jill Weber, Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget Robert Garafola, and Director of Employment Services Nora Ferguson were all in attendance. The event was a huge success thanks to the tireless efforts and preparations of POP participants and Chelsea Recreation Center Manager Micheal Cushing and staff.

Thursday’s POP job fair was the first ever to take place at the Chelsea Recreation Center, and the location proved to be an accommodating and professional setting for the event. The job fair began at 9:15 a.m., when employers set up and enjoyed breakfast. Participants arrived shortly thereafter at 10:00 a.m. and met with potential employers until 2:00 p.m. Coffee and donuts were provided for all 600 JTPs.

Other participating companies included ETJSP; Able Health Care; Alliance For Health; Blockbuster Inc.; Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Business Link; Community Options; EarnFair; LLC, Elimont, Inc.; Healthfirst; Hope Home Care Inc.; Kinkos; Lifespire, Inc.; Lucky Star Employment Agency; Marshalls; Michael C. Fina; New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene; New York Presbyterian Hospital; New York State Department of Civil Service; Patient Care; People Care, Inc.; Premier Home Health Care Services; Primary Security Services, Inc.; Progressive Home Health Services; PSCH, Inc.; Selfhelp Community Services; Sephora; the New York Public Library; the Port Authority of NY & NJ; the Welfare to Work Partnership; Time Warner Cable; US Army - Civilian Personnel Advisory Center; Fort Hamilton; and Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc.

Now in its tenth year, the Parks Opportunity Program serves as the nation’s largest transitional employment program. With over 3,000 trainees in New York City’s parks, playgrounds and recreation centers, POP employees acquire transferable skills in various fields, including maintenance, security, horticulture, and customer service. Trainees also receive employment services and career counseling in preparation for work in the private sector. The six-month training program is New York City’s premier program and has placed thousands of participants into full-time, permanent positions since its inception in 1994.

Written by Carli Smith


"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

Aldous Huxley

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