MANHATTAN — The largest LGBT job fair in the Northeast kicks off in Greenwich Village Thursday and its sponsors are expecting as many as 2,400 job seekers.
Glennda Testone, executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, which is co-sponsoring Out to Work, said Wednesday that 800 job seekers had registered so far to attend but two or three times that number have shown up in previous years.
The fifth installment of the annual event benefits both LGBT people, who face higher rates of employment discrimination and unemployment, and employers, Testone said.
"By bringing employers into The Center, employers who are interested in hiring people from the LGBT community can build networking connections that will put more people to work," she said.
Tom Gray, executive director of event co-sponsor the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, said his group is participating in the fair because employers and jobseekers count on it.
"It is our role, along with our partners, to help bridge the gap between job seekers and job creators," Gray said.
More than 20 companies, including Goldman Sachs & Co. and CBS/Showtime, are scheduled to attend, Testone said.
Tanya Iovine, a campus recruiter for the Long Island-based information technology company CA Technologies, said her company would participate on Thursday because it wanted to celebrate the contributions of the LGBT community to its industry.
"Workplace diversity is important to [CA Technologies]," she said. "It is something we nurture and encourage because we believe it is essential to creating, supporting and selling the best IT management software in the marketplace."
Out to Work runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at 208 W. 13th St.
Testone said the passage of pending non-discrimination legislation in New York state and nationally would provide lasting help to LGBT people.
"So many people in this economy are having trouble, but when you don't have employment protection it's an added barrier," she said.