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Written by: Sarah Bradshaw

It’s Ronald Bullock’s career dream to be a chef and a business owner.

But the former construction worker hasn’t had steady employment since 2008, and he needs to make money before he can start a small business, the 43-year-old married Walden resident said.

That’s what brought him 25 miles to the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Work Local First job fair Wednesday at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.

Bullock and about 1,000 other attendees browsed the approximately 50 booths with prospective employers. There were health aide positions open at nursing homes and care centers for the disabled. Financial firms and banks were looking for experienced and entry-level workers.

“It’s diminishing to come to these job fairs and not get callbacks from these people,” Bullock said. “It’s almost like slavery where we need to sell ourselves to them to get a job.”

Some of the region’s major employers were represented: CH Energy Group Inc., Health Quest and Stewart International Airport.

Staffers for state Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, were there, hiring for three positions — press secretary, director of constituent services and executive assistant. Within the first hour, staffers collected about 50 résumés, including some “very good candidates,” Ball staff member Patricia Simone said. (READ MORE)

Publication date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 00:00