Employers fill job fair for unemployed Aloha workers
A total of 190 private- and public-sector employers came forward during the week to provide potential jobs for displaced Aloha Airlines employees.
The outpouring was so great that as of yesterday the exhibit space for the job fair was already filled to capacity.
The job fair, sponsored by the city and First Hawaiian Bank, is scheduled for Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall at no cost to employers.
It is a job fair specifically for displaced Aloha Airlines employees.
A total of 1,900 Aloha Airlines employees are now out of work due to the company's unexpected and abrupt shutdown on Monday.
"We've been overwhelmed with the response to our call for the business community to join with the public sector to reach out to the Aloha Airlines employees who lost their jobs earlier this week," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. "The response has been immediate, substantive and heartfelt, and I'm absolutely thrilled that so many organizations have stepped forward to see if they can tap the talents and experience of a valuable group of workers."
"The city and First Hawaiian Bank joined forces earlier this week to organize it, with the collaboration of Aloha Airlines and various union groups, including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Airline Division; Transport Workers Union; Association of Flight Attendants-CWA; and Airline Pilots Association.
The Society for Human Resource Management also helped organize employers and volunteers.
Major employers that will participate in Wednesday's job fair include Outrigger Enterprises Group, Japan Airlines and Macy's.
Besides meeting with prospective employers, participants at the job fair also can learn to write a resume, receive information about unemployment benefits and learn about continuing their health insurance.
Jim Tollefson, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, said he informed more than 1,100 members as quickly as possible.
"We're very concerned about the employees that have been impacted by the termination of Aloha Airlines," said Tollefson. "When we found out about this, we wanted to get the word out to our members."
"Tollefson said the turnout is a sign of the aloha spirit in Hawaii. Employers, at the same time, are also looking for good employees even in a slowing economy, he said.
Don Horner, president and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank, said the business community was saddened by the loss of Aloha Airlines, which was part of the fabric of the islands.
"I am confident that business leaders throughout the state look forward to assisting these dedicated employees in finding meaningful and rewarding employment opportunities," he said.