About 500 people turned out for a job fair Tuesday hosted by TicketNetwork, the second company to receive loans and tax incentives for promising to create at least 200 jobs under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s First Five program.
The South Windsor-based ticket exchange company, is looking for new personnel in software engineering, customer service, software sales, account managing and other positions.
Despite widespread storm-related power outages, applicants came out to the event in numbers.
Dan Pullium, TicketNetwork’s director of government relations, said more than 300 people pre-registered for the event and by the time the day was over around 500 had had come out. All told, TicketNetwork has somewhere around 700 new resumes to sort through, he said.
The company is looking to add between 80 and 100 people over the course of the next four to six months, Pullium said. He said the jobs fair was aimed at putting them in touch with the most qualified individuals in the area.
“It’s a great opportunity to see the talent that exists in this area,” he said before the event. “We look forward to meeting the best and the brightest.”
Before the doors were opened, the line of applicants already stretched back to the parking lot.
Linda Tolisano said she was in the process of pre-registering for the event when the power was knocked out at her Ellington home by Tropical Storm Irene. She was worried that she would not be allowed to interview but decided to drive to South Windsor anyway.
“I thought I’d take a chance and just come,” she said, waiting outside the building.
Tolisano worked at Hartford Insurance Group for 35 years as an IT manager before her position was eliminated. She said she was hoping to find an IT-related job with TicketNetwork.
Zack Nagel, 20, of South Windsor said he was looking for a part time job related to tracking sports ticket sales. He had just finished up classes at Manchester Community and eventually wants to work in sports management, he said.
Gina Tocchetti of Stafford Springs said she was hoping to land a full time position in the company’s customer service or IT departments. She said she had been unemployed since she was laid off from a temp agency two months ago and it’s been tough.
“I just need to find a job. The bills need to be paid,” she said.
When he announced the jobs fair in a press release earlier this month, TIcketNetwork CEO Don Vaccaro said it was the company’s first step in upholding their end of the bargain as part of Malloy’s First Five initiative.
The state offered the company a $4.5 million, 10-year state loan to create between 200 and 600 jobs over the next 10 years.
In addition to the loan, TicketNetwork can receive a five year $1.8 million loan from the Connecticut Development Authority for information technology, furniture and fixtures. It will also be eligible for a $250,000 software engineer training grant if it creates 200 jobs and a $450,000 grant if it creates 600 jobs.
“The company is working to reach job goals outlined in Gov. Malloy’s ‘First Five’ program, which includes hiring up to 200 people in the next 24 months,” Vaccaro said.
Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford, traveled to South Windsor for the event and said it was great to see an opportunity for skilled but out-of-work residents to apply for jobs.
“This is one of the better examples of the First Five program that Dan Malloy passed. It gives an opportunity to hire some people and clearly these people here need jobs,” he said motioning to the line of waiting applicants.