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Career fair attendance signals job growth

A University of Dayton career fair Monday attracted a record number of businesses and organizations, indicating a strengthening economy and more opportunities for students, officials said.

The university held its 2013 Spring Career and Graduate School Fair at UD Arena because of increased demand from employers. The event hosted 165 organizations, including 15 graduate schools, up from 128 last year, said Jason Eckert, UD Career Services director.

Hiring has increased based on such indicators as employers’ career fair attendance, on-campus interviews, and full-time job and internship postings, Eckert said. “All of those are up year-to-year and they are up dramatically if you look three to four years ago compared to this year,” he said.

Eckert also pointed to the strength of the university’s engineering, information technology and health care programs. More than 70 of the organizations attending were looking for engineers, he said.

General Electric was seeking engineering, supply chain management and marketing students for internships and co-ops, said Dave Ferguson, the company’s university relations manager. GE has operations in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.

“We see opportunity growth for both UD students and all kinds of workers across the board,” Ferguson said.

Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. was seeking mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers for internships, co-ops and full-time employment, said Joel Holland, a company recruiter from Marysville.

“As the recession is over and things are starting to pick up for all companies, including Honda, we’ve seen a need to bring more engineers on to the company, so that’s a good sign,” Holland said.

Kelcey Wautelet, a UD chemical engineering major from the Detroit area who will graduate in May, felt positive about her job prospects. “I think companies definitely are expanding now that it is a growing economy,” she said.

University officials expected as many as 1,000 students and alumni to attend the career fair, up from 700 last year. UD’s fall career fair attracted 1,200, Eckert said.

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