On Friday, February 15th, Passaic County One Stop held a job fair for Marcal employees in PCCC’s gymnasium to assist workers in the midst of the tragedy of the Marcal Warehouse burning.
“We understand the situation and the hardship it brought out for everyone. One thing we realize is that the Marcal staff is like a family. You can see them happy to see other and not just because of getting an opportunity. That is something we value because our teams operates like a family as well.” said Anthony Manager, Recruiter for L’orȇal S.A.
Many employers were willing to offer opportunities to recover the 500 jobs that were lost. Not only was employment offered but also benefits such as SNAP, Medicare and education opportunities with PCCC. The event was held to benefit Marcal employees as well the employers.
“We are looking to help some people out and bring them on board to help out our business but to also help everyone that is in this tough situation right now,” continued, Anthony Manager.
Marcal employees had varied feelings about the event’s effectiveness.
A woman who wished not to be identified, believed the jobs offered wouldn’t fill the financial hole Marcal workers were falling into. “The job fair is nice but most jobs aren’t offering close to the wage we were originally getting. It’s a big change for all of us. I hope the rest of us find something good in this fair,” said, the Marcal employee.
Lauren Murphy, director of Passaic County One Stop said, “ We help people get training. Help them get jobs and GEDs. The department of the state called up and said we should have an hiring event. A hiring event is what this really is. In conjunction with them we contacted all the people that had available jobs. We tried to find jobs that are fitting for the people that worked at Marcal. Real jobs, like machine operators, forklift operators and truck drivers.”
Murphy hopes Marcal employees move on with their lives despite having working at Marcal for 20 to 25 years.
“A lot of jobs volunteered to be here. We have 50 jobs here and that is only because we could only fit 50 tables in the gymanism. We contacted the Marcal employees through email and phone. On their last paycheck, they got another notice saying to come here today. There is 500 of them without jobs. That is a lot of jobs to fill, but they are getting hired,” Murphy added.
Although many of jobs were purposely selected to fit Marcal employee credentials, there were also jobs willing to take in candidates who are inexperienced to the field.
“We’ll train you 100%. You don’t need to know a thing. You just have to want to come to work everyday and are okay with dealing with customers. Service technicians start at $15 dollars an hour. We license them through the state. We give them on-going training. It’s a really good opportunity. People do not always see this as a potential career opportunity, but it can be. You don’t have to have a degree, GED or high school diploma,” said Marybeth Hall, recruiter for Western Pest Services.
A group of Marcal employees put their preference of wage to the side in hopes to receive any opportunity that would help them out of this predicament. Oswalgo Batigas, Marcal employee said, “We are all trying to get jobs. So, we don’t lose our homes and can feed our families. I have children and grandchildren. We all have family to take care of. The job fair is helping out. I’m grateful.”
The employers who came out sympathized with Marcal and wanted to make sure they did absolutely everything in their power to help.
A representative of Bed Bath and Beyond said, “We sympathize with what happened at the Warehouse. We are trying to help in any way we can to help the workers get back on their feet. We encourage all or any employees that be an eligible candidate to apply at Bed Bath and Beyond.com/Careers.”
“I know they have a lot of creditable people and are willing to help a local business like ours. We do all janitorial services—residential and commercial. We have the business for about 13 years and our specialty is residential and commercial cleaning. We take care of 30 spaces weekly. It is labor intensive but is is work and a great environment,” said Zerlina Rodriguez, founder of Meticulous Cleaning Inc.
If you are interested in helping Marcal, you can donate to their Go Fund Me at https://www.gofundme.com/marcal-employee-support.