Many jobs are hard to find.
That isn’t true, however, of the jobs at The Park at Rosemont.
The village of Rosemont kicked off a three-day job fair Sunday to fill hundreds of full- and part-time positions at the city’s new entertainment district.
Representatives from Adobe Gila’s Margarita Fajita Cantina, Five Roses Pub, Kings Lanes & Lounge and Zanies Comedy Club received applicants in the first floor ballroom at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road.
“What I have really been excited to hear is that the people who have been doing the interviews have been saying that really strong applicants have been coming in,” said Nick Harkin, spokesman for the venue.
Harkin said the job climate in Rosemont is vibrant with companies moving into the area, the office buildings buzzing with activity, and the impending opening of an outlet mall, Fashion Outlets of Chicago.
“I think that is one of the things that bodes well for The Park at Rosemont. They think they will have a busy lunch crowd. They think that they will have a busy evening crowd. And they think it will be week round,” including both residents and the convention crowd.
Jacki DiCola of Chicago was among those sitting at tables in the banquet room filling out applications. She said she is looking for a sous chef position, and has experience working as a chef.
“I work in retail, and I want to get back into the kitchen,” she said.
DiCola said she learned about the job fair on Craigslist.
“I really appreciate the one-on-one,” she said. “On the Internet, you really don’t have much face-to-face with people. You’re one of thousands of people applying and most of the time you don’t get kind of any response.”
Another applicant, Elmwood Park resident Nick Capoccia, said he is going to culinary school and is, therefore, looking for culinary jobs.
“Actual job fairs are usually better, just because you can meet more people face to face. You have got a bigger variety of jobs you can find and places that are hiring,” he said.
The employers appreciate it, too. Brett Chadwick, general manager for the Adobe Gila’s restaurant, said they had many strong applicants in the first few hours.
“It is a great opportunity to get as many applicants as possible in a short amount of time,” he said. “I have seen a little bit of everything. I have seen some 16-year-olds, and we have seen some 70-year-olds.”
Chadwick said the restaurant is looking to hire around 100-125 employees, including servers, bartenders and kitchen personnel. Applicants should probably be hearing the good news in about a month.
Zanies also was interviewing potential employees, looking to fill 30-35 positions.
“Because we’re starting from scratch, we’re hiring from scratch. We are going to have most of our management team in place, but we are going to be hiring everything from box office to servers to back of the house. The focus is on customer service, so we are looking for real upbeat personalities,” said Bert Haas, Zanies executive vice president.
Haas said they received more than 100 applications during the first three hours of the fair.
“Some of them were very good,” said Haas, who plans to open in late May.
Not everybody who visited the job fair left happy, however.
Chicago resident Javier Ornelas said he his work experience includes managing two call centers, but he had his resume handed back to him because he didn’t have hospitality experience.
“It wasn’t what I expected,” he said.
The fair continues Monday from noon to 8 p.m. and Tuesday from 2 to 10 p.m.