NEW YORK — Thousands of job seekers hoping to find careers at Westfield World Trade Center on Wednesday attended a free job fair at the Conrad New York Hotel for Tristate residents, including military veterans and their family members. More than 65 retailers, vendors and restaurants were represented at the fair, which showcased full- and part-time positions in management, corporate, operations and sales at many of the retailers opening stores at Westfield World Trade Center and Fulton Center.
The fair represented a portion of the 10,000-plus jobs that will be created by Westfield World Trade Center, which is opening in mid-August. The 350,000-square-foot center will feature 150 local and global brands, including H&M, Kit & Ace, Sephora, Kate Spade New York and Hugo Boss, as well as a variety of dining options such as Eataly.
While the fair was open to all prospective job applicants in the afternoon, the morning was reserved for those who served in the military with dedicated programming and opportunities geared to veterans and their families, including Guard and Reserve members, transitioning service members and military spouses.
The 5,000 participating candidates were also able to take advantage of an interview skills seminar and résumé workshop. There was even a professional photographer taking headshots of job applicants. The event featured Stephen Viscusi, author of the bestseller “Bulletproof Your Job,” who is a leading expert on employment and hiring.
“It’s in the nature of New York City to be constantly rebuilding and renewing in spite of all adversity, from the farthest reaches of the Rockaways to our city’s core, here in Manhattan,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The opening of Westfield World Trade Center retail destination will bring thousands of jobs back to the heart of lower Manhattan and Westfield has my thanks for working to get the word out and recruit locally.”
“The job fair has been a great success,” said Jessica Lappin, president of the New York Downtown Alliance. “While the financial sector continues to be a pillar, it’s gratifying to see how lower Manhattan is increasingly attracting companies in the fashion, retail, media, advertising and technology sectors. This helps create a healthy diversity in our local economy — an essential balance as Lower Manhattan becomes a pre-eminent live/work community with more than 60,000 residents and 300,000 workers.”
Westfield formalized its emphasis on hiring military veterans in 2015 when the company’s national Westfield Veterans Initiative was developed to facilitate entrepreneurial, career and educational support for veterans and their families. The initiative connects qualified veterans and their spouses to jobs within Westfield and across Westfield’s nationwide network of retail partners. The initiative also incubates new veteran-led business ventures at spaces within Westfield shopping centers. The company is assuming a leadership role within the shopping center industry by encouraging real estate developers and retailers to make hiring veterans a priority.
“Westfield believes that when our veterans return to civilian life, they have a unique contribution to make to our society,” said Michael McNaughton, senior vice president of Westfield World Trade Center. “In entering the civilian workforce, veterans can leverage their military training to help lead businesses, improve productivity and share their deep ethos of service and excellence.”
Westfield codeveloped the job fair’s veteran-centric programming with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, which as hosted some 1,000 hiring events, which resulted in placing 28,000 veterans and their spouses in jobs.
“It’s been nearly 15 years since 9/11,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We’re here to ensure that all veterans, but especially post 9/11 veterans are able to make meaningful connections that lead to meaningful careers.”