There are 400 jobs available in Trumbull. Virtual fair helps people find them.
TRUMBULL — While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread economic disruption, it also has led to some employment opportunities, according a handful of business officials in town.
Trumbull hosted an online Town Hall meeting on employment last week. The presentation featured hiring officials from Amazon, Westfield Trumbull, ImageFirst Healthcare Laundry Specliasts, the Town of Trumbull and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council.
“There’s a great array of different opportunities presented here this evening,” First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said. “We know we have residents looking for employment, and we’re here to help.”
Dan Onofrio, president and CEO of the Bridgeprort Regional Business Council, a business-to-business networking agency that includes the Trumbull Chamber of Commerce, said the employment outlook is trending is a positive direction. At the height of the pandemic, he said, the state Department of Labor reported 2,000 unemployment claims in a week in town. The latest numbers are about half that amount, he said.
“It’s been trending down since the summer,” he said. “Industries hit the heaviest include retail and food sectors, health care and social services, and manufacturing.”
But labor department data also shows quite a few job openings in those same sectors, he said.
“Trumbull currently has 400 job listings today,” he said. “There are opportunities out there. We can’t guarantee that we can place you in a job, but we can certainly put you in touch with the right people.”
Some of those job opportunities are with ImageFirst Healthcare Laundry Specialists, a speciality laundry service that recently opened in the Trumbull Corporate Park. The company has 50 locations across the country, including in Farmington.
“Our Trumbull location has 41 associates and is growing rapidly,” said Christina Hernandez, a human resources manager for the company. ImageFirst is actively hiring for associates, who earn about $14 to $15 an hour to start, and drivers, who start at around $55,000 a year plus quarterly bonuses, she said.
“Right now we need about 15 associates, but we are growing and that number will increase,” she said. “By the end of the year, we expect to hire about 25 more.”
Unlike many companies, where the application process can be conducted almost entirely online, Hernandez encouraged applicants to come to the facility.
“We’re kind of old school,” she said. “We want you to come in, talk to us. We may hire you on the spot.”
Onelis Diaz, a staffing coordinator for Amazon, said there were numerous opportunities at the new Amazon fulfillment center on Spring Hill Road. The center opened over the summer. All Trumbull jobs pay a minimum $15 per hour and have benefits, including paid time off and opportunities for extra work hours, especially with the holiday season approaching.
There are also opportunities to work in delivery to customers, driving one of the Amazon Prime vans that are now a common sight around town, she said.
“The great thing about applying with us is how fast it goes,” she said. “There are no resumes or interviews. You need to have a high school diploma or GED, have basic English, be 18 years old and pass a background and drug check.”
Brick-and-mortar retail also is hiring, according to Westfield Marketing Director Vanessa Mitton.
“It’s been a challenging year for us, but I’m happy to report that we’re recovering well and at a rapid pace,” Mitton said. “Customers are coming back.”
With the mall still operating under COVID restrictions, Mitton said stores are hiring for new roles like capacity monitors to make sure stores do not exceed their customer limits. Stores also need extra staff on cleaning crews and runners to bring curbside pickup orders to customers’ vehicles, she said.
“So many new positions have come about as a result of everything that has happened in the past few months,” she said.
The Westfield Trumbull website is updating its job opportunities page, but should be live soon, Mitton said. In the meantime, stores with job opportunities are starting to post signs in their windows, she said.
Thomas McCarthy spoke about job opportunities with the town, which has had a hiring freeze due to COVID-19, but has gradually been loosening its restrictions.
“Right now, the HR page on the town website lists mostly seasonal, part-time jobs like folks to shovel snow, or drive plows,” he said. “But pretty soon we’ll be in the process to hire police officers, rec program directors, fleet mechanics, an assistant tax assessor. These are high-level jobs with great salaries.”
Most jobs also list the minimum qualifications to be considered, he said.
“Really take a look at the qualifications and see if you match up with them,” he said. “Take a look at what’s available, remember things change on a regular basis, and feel free to apply.”