GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Twenty-year-old Ebon Yizar hopes a job with the Tappan Zee Bridge Project will help him pay off his college debt. But the Tarrytown resident will be competing with thousands of others across the state for a position.
It was difficult to find standing room — much less a seat — as hundreds of Westchester County residents crammed into the Greenburgh Public Library Thursday morning to hear about the job opportunities emerging from the bridge project.
"I'm looking for anything that's hiring. Lately, it's been hard to find a job," Yizar said.
The workshop, which was put together to provide information on the new bridge's job opportunities, didn't just draw locals from towns and cities across the county. Some came from as far as New Jersey and Poughkeepsie in hopes of finding work in the coming months.
Brian Conybeare, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's special adviser for the project and the workshop's leader, said the $3.9 billion bridge project will provide jobs for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.
"I think this is proof that the Tappan Zee project is needed," Conybeare of Thursday's huge turnout. "We need jobs. We want to get as many locals and small businesses involved as we can."
While design and construction work for the bridge is still in the works, contractors have already begun the hiring process. Various construction jobs are needed, but the new bridge will also have a ripple effect county-wide as the influx of area workers boosts restaurant, hotel and real estate business, Conybeare added.
White Plains resident Annemarie Fleming is looking to get involved with a sales and marketing position and hoped to meet with representatives from architecture and engineer firms at the event.
"I've been looking for work for a while and haven't found anything," Fleming said.
While some, like Fleming, had a specific job in mind, others were just hoping they'd be lucky enough to find work.
Dennis Pendzuk, of Poughkeepsie, said he's trying to get into a new line of work after technology forced him out of his 30-year career as a printer. If he's hired, he'll either make the commute to Tarrytown every day or live with his mother in Croton.
"I've been out of work since July, so I'm more frustrated than anything. I have lots of experience that I just can't use," he said. "But I'm mechanically inclined, so I can find a niche in here somewhere."
The Tappan Zee Constructors team will hold a jobs fair on March 6 and 7, location to be announced, at which it will begin accepting résumés. The fair will have representatives from all types of companies that need employees.
Job seekers interested in more information about the project can visit tappanzeeconstructors.com.