ADAMS -- The Visitors Center's first job fair drew more than 150 Tuesday, leaving roughly 16 participating employers impressed and ready to "explore candidates," organizers said.
The town Council on Aging (COA) and Berkshire Works Career Center co-hosted the fair, intended for all ages but particularly for the older adult population.
"We've never had a job fair in Adams and [Tuesday's] was a great success," Barbara Emanuel, Berkshire Works director of marketing and business services, said. "[The Visitors Center] is a great space and we'd like to come back in the future."
COA Director Erica Samson said job fairs aren't commonly hosted by COAs in the state. But she and Outreach Coordinator Linda Greenbush identified a need and decided to use their connections to help.
"We wanted to create an opportunity for the older population to have access to jobs programs," Samson said. "Then we thought, ‘why not open it up to everybody?' "
Greenbush added, "It's easier to search when you have all these employers under one roof and people can look for jobs among peers."
Samson said the state Association of Councils on Aging is interested in a report on the event.
Greenbush, who was formerly employed by Berkshire Works, was able to help recruit that agency, employers, Berkshire Rides and representatives of Goodwill Industries' 7-year-old program Suit YourSelf, geared at providing interview-appropriate clothing for job seekers and soft skills training.
"We're a soup-to-nuts program," Terry Clark, manager of Suit YourSelf's North Adams branch, said Tuesday. "As of the first of this year, we're now operating in Northern Berkshire out of North Adams' new State Street Goodwill."
Participating employers in Tuesday's fair included Aaron's, Berkshire Beacon, BFAIR, Crane & Co., Dunkin' Donuts, Hanesbrands, Hillcrest Educational Centers, Interim Healthcare, Home Depot, Manpower, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Molari Employment Services, Sweetbrook of Williamstown, United Personnel, Vox Radio Group and Wheatleigh.
"We had some grandparents who brought in their granddaughter, wearing an outfit she'd gotten from Suit YourSelf, and she got herself an interview," Greenbush said. "I think that's a success story."
In other business, Dunkin' Donuts representatives at the meeting said the chain is hiring 10 full- and part-time employees for its new Cheshire branch, to be located inside the new O'Connell's Convenience Plus station being built on North Street. Cafua Management-Pelham in Methuen will manage the new store.
To reach Phil Demers, email