PPL Center job fair offers ‘face time’ to hundreds of applicants

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Express Times website.

PPLDale Bernard, left of Easton, talks with Marc Pelepko, director of finance for the PPL Center, about paperwork during the career fair July 23, 2014, at CareerLink in Allentown.
Bill Adams | The Express-Times


Timothy Knerr has rickets, a bone disability that keeps him limited to his walker, but that did not prevent from attending today’s PPL Center job fair.

At 50 years old, Knerr is four years removed from his driving position at an entertainment newspaper that he said rain into financial troubles. He decided his disability check was not enough to support him.

“I see the arena is opening up and they have jobs that I can do,” Knerr said. “I can do box office and I have done security for 15 years.”

Knerr, a Bath resident, was among hundreds of area residents who filled out applications at PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley for companies like Ovations, Global Spectrum and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms that will be working in the new hockey arena in Allentown.

Applicants had one-on-one interviews with various employers for positions, such as event staff, box office, concessions attendant, kitchen cook, suite supervisor, catering server and merchandise associate.

“Everyone gets face time,” said Nancy Dischinat, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Investment Board. “They get to sit there and talk to the people they want to talk to and sell themselves to that individual right on the spot.”

Gunnar Fox, general manager for the PPL Center, said between 200 and 300 full- and part-time jobs are available at the arena.

Dischinat said CareerLink has prepared people for the job fair for more than a year, by helping to update resumes and teaching interview skills.

Today’s job fair, one of three in the past few weeks, was open to the entire Lehigh Valley, whereas the previous two were just for Allentown residents.

About 740 people applied today for PPL Center jobs, and Fox said he was pleasantly surprised.

“It helps to reaffirm that we are heading in the right direction,” he said.

Anita Schrantz, 52, said with three children in college and one getting married, she needed a second job. Schrantz has been working at Wegmans for 11 years. She applied for an event staff position in her bid for an additional paycheck.

Navid Toor, 24, is a recent graduate of Penn State University. He said he had experience in sales, so he decided to apply as suite supervisor.

Fox said management will be making decisions in the next couple of weeks, as rock band The Eagles are scheduled to christen the PPL Center with its first event Sept. 12.

Knerr is among those waiting for a call back.

“It’s hard enough for an ordinary person to get a job,” he said. “When you are disabled it’s harder. Its makes it tougher for you, but you deal with it like anything else.”

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