Thousands of job seekers flock to airport job fair

The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport concessions job fair -- open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- began Monday and lasts through Wednesday at the convention center in College Park.

The airport is preparing for a massive overhaul of its restaurants and shops and the opening of the new international terminal May 16. The airport expects that will add about 700 new concessions jobs.

About 20 companies are at the fair, including concessionaires Delaware North Cos., Hojeij Branded Foods and HMSHost and other firms like Air Serv, hiring airplane cabin cleaners, and Standard Parking.

Victor Merrell, of Union City said he works part-time for FedEx, but is looking for a second, full-time job.

"It takes more than one job these days to make sure all your bills are paid and save some money, especially if you have a family," he said.

After an hour of waiting in line to enter the job fair, Lorraine Ullman of East Point gazed at the thousands of job-seekers in line around her and said she expected she would have to wait for a few more hours to get in.

"There's just so many of us unemployed," Ullman said. "We're hard-working people. We just need a chance to work."

Labor union UNITE HERE staffed a table at the fair to help with job placement for the hundreds of workers who are losing their jobs as concessionaires shut down to make way for other companies opening up new locations.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.