Virtual job fair brings new opportunities to Southwest Floridians impacted by pandemic

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
St. Matthew’s House thrift store, which is looking for help. Credit: WINK News

So many people in Southwest Florida lost their jobs during the pandemic over the last several months, but now help is on its way in the form of a virtual job fair Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The president and CEO of St. Matthew’s House, Vann Ellison, shared a story that put the crisis in perspective: One year ago, a man donated $1,000 to St. Matthew’s House for the holidays to help people in need. That same man is now waiting in weekly food distribution lines to put food on the table for his kids.

Ellison says he’s looking for delivery drivers and furniture movers for the St. Matthew’s thrift store, as well as people to help out with Lulu’s Kitchen. He says if you want to land a job at the fair, bring your best attitude.

“We take people oftentimes who come to us and need an opportunity, they’ll have a great attitude, are willing to work, but may have a deficit in their resume because of an addiction or because of past behavior,” Ellison said. “So we like being a restorative employer.”

It’s a story many can relate to. If you’re struggling to find a job right now, Better Together’s virtual job fair will include dozens of other local companies and organizations who want to hire on the spot.

“This is a change of economy, but the people who are diligent will find employment and may be a better purpose or a better life than I’ve ever had before,” Ellison said. “In times of transition, it’s so easy for people to lose hope and get discouraged, but this, for us, is also an encouraging time. Opportunities open up, and transitions.”

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