"It's worth the wait:" Job fair in Milwaukee draws more than a thousand people

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Massive crowds turn out to a job fair on Milwaukee's south side, but they didn't expect to wait more than an hour just to get their foot in the door. It got so crowded, leaders with the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board say they are re-thinking how they planned the event.

Hundreds of people packed Serb Hall, looking for work.

"I have two part time jobs looking for a more career oriented position," said Chad Walter.
Walter is one of more than 1700 people pre-screened for the job fair. Even more showed up to interview with 91 area companies. The Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board didn't see the masses coming.

"It just ballooned," said Jovo Potkonjak, Business Service Manager for the Workforce Investment Board.

Outside the building, the line starts at the door and stretches all the way around the building. Some people got in line more than an hour before the job fair started, at 8 AM.

"When you have 1500 to 1700 hundred people coming through it is now a concern a fire hazard, we have to monitor what`s going in," said Potkonjak

Time Warner Cable, Schneider, even the Medical College of Wisconsin, are some of the employers on hand. People who are pre-screened get VIP passes, to make sure everyone coming in has the required skill sets.

Mayor Tom Barrett thanked those waiting for their patience.

"Maybe we need a bigger spot, we will look at that, but I think the people here, at least I hope the people here, are thankful that we are trying to do everything we can to help them get jobs so they can support their families," said Barrett.

But when you need work, you do what it takes to get it. Chad Walter is feeling positive, he got a few interviews out of it.

"It's worth the wait, I feel like I made a lot of good connections here," said Walter.