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Career fair draws fewer employers due to federal budget cuts


Despite federal budget cuts causing a decrease in the number of employers planning to attend an Ohio State career fair this week, one fair coordinator has been attempting to reassure students the fair will still be worth it.

There are set to be 36 employers at the College of Arts and Sciences Career Services Public Sector Career Fair Tuesday, down from 41 last year, fair coordinator and an internship adviser for the College of Arts and Sciences April Calkovsky said.

The fair is set to take place at the Ohio Union from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Calkovsky, who has co-coordinated the fair since 2009, said the sequester, cuts to federal spending that went into effect in March, is partly to blame for decreased number of employers attending.

“Sequestration has really handicapped a lot of agencies that normally come to the fair (because) their funds have been cut,” Calkovsky said.

The sequester resulted an estimated $85.4 billion in discretionary spending set to be cut this year across numerous government programs and agencies, according to The Washington Post.

Due to these monetary cuts, some of the employers who attended last year’s fair do not have enough money in their budgets to return, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and “things related to the environment, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Calkovsky said. She said registration for the fair costs $90 for government agencies.

“They don’t have the dollars to spend for registration, but more than that, they don’t have the travel dollars,” Calkovsky said.

Despite the small drop in employers, Calkovsky said the larger agencies that typically attend, such as the CIA, the State Department, the FBI and the NSA, will attend the career fair Tuesday. She said she has been encouraging students to not let the decrease in the number of employers discourage them.

“There’s no better way to develop a relationship with an employer than to meet them face-to-face and have a chance to develop a rapport with them,” she said.

Erin McAuliffe, a fourth-year in political science and German, attended the career fair last year and said it was a good opportunity to talk with employers and learn a little about the application process.

“Even if it is smaller, it is a great opportunity to get your name out there and put a face to some of these employers,” she said.

Though Christian Harris, a fifth-year in physics and astronomy, said he’ll decide whether or not he will attend the fair Tuesday, but thinks the fair is worth it regardless of the number of employers.

“Networking with potential employers, despite decreasing numbers, is a necessary part of getting into the job market,” Harris said. “It’s not the only way but it’s helpful nonetheless.”

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