By Tamas Mondovics

If attendance is any indication of an event’s success, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman has nothing to worry about thanks to the large number of job seekers that flocked to her annual South County Job Fair last month. The job fair was held in association with Career Source, Hillsborough Community College SouthShore and Hillsborough County government.

More than 40 employees set up shop at the free event held earlier this month at the cafeteria of the HCC SouthShore Campus, located at 551 24th St. NE in Ruskin, which quickly proved to be too small for the steady flow of people expecting to find quality work from close to 1,000 jobs up for grabs.

Small businesses were encouraged to participate, but it was clear the list of bigger companies such as Amazon, St. Josephs Hospital South, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Mosaic, HART and Busch Gardens topped the list for people seeking full-time, part-time or seasonal jobs.

Amazon representative Brenda Poole confirmed that due to the amount of interest, the company decided to hold a job fair on its own the same day at the newly opened Ruskin fulfillment center just down the road.

“Recession hit South County hard, but we are now seeing a definite turnaround. The bases are loaded and I think this job fair is a home run,” Murman said.

As visitors made their way across the floor, they found no shortage of employers offering on-the-spot interviews to potential employees.

“People are looking for not just work but quality jobs as ShouthShore is quickly becoming an urban community,” Murman said.

HCC-SouthShore Campus President Dr. Allen Witt was also pleased to see so many visitors while agreeing with Murman’s take on the changes that are now occurring within the community.

“The amount of jobs currently available and the roomful of people seeking quality jobs shows the growth in our community,” Witt said.

To complete the day, Murman also hosted an online version of the event catered for another part of her district.

The Virtual Town ‘N Country Job Fair was also held in association with CareerSource Tampa Bay, coupled with a special web page that provided job seekers in northwest Hillsborough County a resource to apply for jobs that were featured at the Commissioner’s South County Job Fair earlier in the day.

To learn more about Murman, visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Murman.