Posted June 24, 2024

Temple University holds Philadelphia’s largest annual job fair

Now in its 17th year, Temple’s annual Neighborhood Job Fair and Resource Village had more than 80 businesses in attendance. 

Image of job seekers at Temple University Aramark STAR Complex.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg
The 17th annual Neighborhood Job Fair and Resource Village was open to the public and sponsored by Temple University’s Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative. 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a full-service junk removal company, hired six people at Temple’s job fair on Friday, June 7.

Hundreds of optimistic job seekers filled Temple University’s Aramark STAR Complex on Friday, June 7, in search of a new career during Temple’s 17th annual Neighborhood Job Fair and Resource Village.  

Each year, Temple hosts the public employment fair to give job seekers the chance to jump-start a new career while also assisting many local employers’ hiring efforts.  

The free event was sponsored by Temple’s Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative (LNPWI) and Radio One, the only national minority-owned broadcasting radio group in the country.  

Michael Robinson, the director of the community hiring initiative at Temple, has coordinated the event for the last several years and has since expanded the fair into Temple’s largest community engagement event of the year.  

“Many employers that attend each year believe in Temple’s effort to uplift lives and that jobs can radically transform the socioeconomic status of others in the community,” said Robinson. “Going back to previous years of mid-90s and early 2000s there was high unemployment, particularly in the Black community.  

“With Temple being the biggest employer in North Philadelphia, we took the responsibility to serve our community in this capacity to bring the jobs to the city, and it continued to blossom from there,” he added. “Better pay creates a better quality of life.”  

More than 80 companies were in attendance, including two locations of Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. 

Donta Rose, a Black business owner of Sharswood Grocery Outlet, first attended Temple’s annual job fair in 2022.  

“Temple gave me my first opportunity to table at a job fair event as an employer. It is a chance to discover motivated job seekers who can make a difference in an organization,” said Rose, a native of North Philadelphia. “Seeing someone in person rather than just looking at a resume online allows us to see how they present themselves, such as their eye contact and if they have strong communication skills.”   

The other Grocery Outlet employer in attendance was Jaelyn Deas, a Black woman business owner, who at 27 years old recently became the youngest grocery store owner in the country. She owns the University City Grocery Outlet

“The positive of owning a business is there’s limitless potential for growth,” said Deas, a native of Los Angeles. “Temple’s job fair is about serving people in the community, which aligns with our store’s mission to help young entrepreneurs trying to make an impact in their community.”  

The Pennsylvania State Police were another employer represented at the annual event. Yao-Ming Chen, who has been serving as a state trooper for the last 18 years, values the diverse pool of job seekers who attend the job fair each year.  

“Every year, I've seen a great diverse population that come from different walks of life,” Chen said. “When recruiting, I find it beneficial for me to initiate that engagement in person because we are looking at their personality, background, knowledge and experience.”  

As more and more job seekers filed in for the fair, Senator Sharif Street stopped by to offer his support. He explained that the impact of Temple’s annual job fair helps increase economic opportunities that help improve the poverty rates in the neighborhoods, which reduces violence.  

“As a city and commonwealth looking to attract employers, the number one thing they want to know is can we get the talent to provide the service and come up with a creative idea to demonstrate that we can connect employers with talent that helps attract additional employers,” Sen. Street said.  

“The neighborhood job fair is the rising tide that lifts our community, and I’m glad to have formed this partnership with Temple because it changes lives and makes our neighborhood, city and the commonwealth better.”  

About Temple University’s Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative  

The Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative was founded in 2018 through a grant from the Lenfest Foundation and support from Temple University. LNPWI seeks to strengthen the earning potential of local communities by providing job training and career readiness programs that lead to sustainable employment. In addition, they partner with stakeholders, including workforce development providers and employers, to strengthen the ability to connect all North Philadelphia residents with career pathways.