Clutching a folder full of resumes, Natalie Dentler walked through First St. John's Lutheran Church with faith she would find her next job.
The 27-year-old Dover resident was among hundreds of local residents who went to the sanctuary Thursday for the York City Career Fair.
"There's a lot of potential here. Hopefully something happens," she said.
More than 40 employers accepted applications and talked to potential workers.
Dentler, a certified medical assistant and phlebotomist, had her eye on Pleasant Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Springettsbury Township.
The York County nursing home has open positions for food service workers, nursing assistants and nurses.
"I talked to them and put in my application, so hopefully they call me," she said.
Dentler said she has been looking for work since March, when extenuating circumstances made her quit a job at East Berlin Family Medicine.
"I regret leaving now. The job market is tougher than I thought. I'm really glad this fair is here because it helps me see a lot of employers in one place," she said.
West York resident Stephen Crump said the fair was a great thing for "a guy who may not come across well on paper."
The 53-year-old former machinist spent most of his life working with his hands, he said.
"I'm not great at writing fancy letters, but this gives them a chance to meet me face to face and find out who I am," Crump said.
He spent about 30 years as a self-employed machinist who did jobs for several companies throughout York County, he said.
"But the work dried up when the recession hit, and I got a lot older. I still need to work, though, so I'm trying to find the next thing," Crump said.
Shona Weber was there looking for her first thing.
The 19-year-old York City resident was talking to both employers and schools, trying to figure out what to do with her life.
"I don't want to go to school just to go to school. I want to go to school to get a job. I just don't know if I can afford it so I'm also looking at jobs too," she said.
Several regional colleges and universities set up tables at the event, offering advice and information to prospective students.
"Funding is always the biggest obstacle," said Jackie Foster, coordinator of health care education at Harrisburg Area Community College.
She answered questions from a variety of people: high school seniors, middle-aged workers looking to expand their careers and older workers who need to change industries.
"Most ask about the medical field because they know there's a demand there and that's where the jobs are," Foster said.
—Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.