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Indystar.com

An estimated 2,500 job-seekers attended a job fair at the Campus Center Building at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis today, according to an organizer.

More than 1,000 people arrived during the first 90 minutes to meet with 94 different prospective companies and schools represented at the fair, sponsored by U.S. Rep. André Carson, D-Indianapolis, and Ivy Tech Community College.

Many in the crowd were recently graduated college students or soon-to-be grads, although the fair was open to anyone seeking a job.

William Ronan, 21, Indianapolis, has been unemployed for a month, “the longest month of my life,” he said.

He’s nearing completion of an accounting degree, but is searching for a job now. And he’s realized the job search is tough.

“A lot of it is online,” Ronan said. “There is no personal aspect to it anymore. You never know if they’re going to call you back or if your resume is going out into space.”

His sentiment was a common theme among job-seekers at the event. Many said they were attending to make face-to-face connections not only with recruiters, but also with fellow job seekers who can provide search tips.

“I’ve heard it’s not job hunting, it’s job farming,” said Patrick Milligan, 51, who has been unemployed for 40 weeks and seeking a job in the information technology field. “I am here looking a lot at the people I meet more than the jobs hiring because you never know who will have an opportunity for you.”

Carson visited the fair about 11:30 a.m. He was enthusiastic about the number in attendance and the impact the fair could have on job-seekers in Indianapolis.

“We’re just trying to get some jobs here,” Carson said. “Our unemployment (in Indiana) is over 10 percent, which is pretty much on par with the national average. There are over 90 companies representing over 2,500 jobs, and I think that can put a dent in our unemployment.”

“When you see Hoosiers from all walks of life, all races here, you can see we have a common focus, and that’s getting Americans back to work.”

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