Job seekers formed a line that snaked around two buildings on the UH West Oahu campus on Saturday.
“We thought we had to go over (to the front), but then we ended up having to walk down that way,” said Stephanie Kauanui, pointing to the back of the campus.
Kauanui waited more than an hour to apply for a housekeeping or security position at the Queens Medical Center West Oahu. She's been looking for work since being laid off from the former Hawaii Medical Center West.
Kauanui was prepared to talk to recruiters. “I’ll tell them I have the experience and I’m ready to work,” she said.
Housekeeping jobs are among the 200 that need to be filled before the West Oahu hospital is ready to open in the spring of next year.
The positions include everything from nurses to technicians to food service workers.
About half of the slots will likely be filled from employees at the Punchbowl Street location, leaving another 100 to back fill, the hospital said.
The jobs fair was hosted by Queens Health Systems.
The turnout didn't surprise Queens administrators.
“I know there’s a need in this neighborhood of West Oahu to provide job opportunities and there’s been so much excitement about it being the Queens Medical Center that’s opening out here,” said Susan Murray, COO of Queens West Oahu region.
Harry Bugarin drove from his home in Manoa to apply for a job as an IT specialist. “I took the drive out here to meet and greet with the managers and people that I may be working with,” said Bugarin. “I’ve heard so many great things about the Queens system and their reputation within the community.”
Queens expects to have more job openings in the future.
“We are not going to hire for when we’re at our maximum. We’re hiring for opening, so there will be additional positions even after we open in the spring as the volume and the need grows,” said Murray.
Queen's will hold another job fair on Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Manoa Elementary School, 3155 Manoa Road.
Applicants can also visit www.queens.org for more information, including job postings, and to apply online. Whether applicants apply online or not, they should bring a resume with them if attending either job fair.