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December 11, 2002

Recruiters seek date with diversity at NTID job fair

From: Democrat and Chronicle, NY - 11 Dec 2002

By Matthew Daneman
Democrat and Chronicle

(December 11, 2002) — HENRIETTA — The Central Intelligence Agency wants people with expertise in everything from finance to technology. It also wants people from all walks of life.

Which is why the government agency was among more than two dozen employers taking resumes and talking to applicants at a job fair Tuesday for Rochester Institute of Technology’s deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

“Our diversity is of paramount concern to us,” said Bryan Peters, the northeast regional recruiter for the CIA. “So this is an attractive recruitment opportunity for us.”

This marked the second year for the job fair, which is sponsored by RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the state Department of Labor.

While employers can be hesitant about job candidates with a disability, “the barrier is always smaller than they perceive,” said Allen Vaala, director of the NTID Center on Employment.

Justin Drawbaugh, 22, of Rochester graduates next year but was looking for a temporary job in information technology, his major.

The job fair “is helpful because it’s very important for recruiters and companies to become familiar with and understand more what we have to offer them and what our skills are,” Drawbaugh said through a sign language interpreter.

The economy was somewhat of a worry for Rita Desarkar, 21, who was born in India and now calls Albany home. “I do feel some concern that people won’t be willing to hire ... and I won’t be able to find a position. A lot of places have frozen their hiring. But I won’t give up.”

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Copyright 2002 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.