Louisa Morais sat in an oversized chair at the Hampton Bays Community Center as her 14-year-old son Joey circled the room at the Town of Southampton Job and Internship Fair.
He introduced himself to employers, shook hands and took their literature -- the first steps toward summer employment.
After finding a few things that caught his interest -- mainly positions open with the Town of Southampton and Stop & Shop -- he brought them back to where his mother was sitting to fill them out.
“This is his first time applying for anything,” she said. “It’s a good experience. He’s asking me for certain phone numbers and other things he needs to fill out the applications, and I’m telling him to remember it for the future.”
Tracy Kolsin, assistant director of the Town of Southampton Youth Bureau, said about 100 people turned out Tuesday for the 11th annual fair, which caters to residents between the ages of 14 and 25. He said it was one of the event’s most successful years.
“This year we also have better turnout for employers,” he said. “It’s been very successful on both ends.”
Kolsin said the fair was initially geared toward teens between 14 and 17, but in recent years students were returning from college and having a difficult time finding work.
“In this economy, they’d come back from college and they are stuck in this limbo stage,” he said. “They’d come here and say, ‘Do you have anything for us?’ ”
More than 30 employers attended the fair, including organizations from the transportation, retail, financial, government, and nonprofit arenas.
Chris Gorny, assistant manager at Southampton Bath and Tennis Club, said he has attended the fair for at least four years and has always found good employees, many of whom ended up working at the private club for years.
“I’ve come here even during years I wasn’t hiring,” he said. “I hate to pass up the opportunity to meet a kid who could make a difference at the club.”
Paula Jean Hinck, director of underwriting operations for Peconic Public Broadcasting, was looking for an unlimited number of students willing to volunteer their time in exchange for the experience. In addition to administrative work, she said some students would also have the opportunity to write and record public service announcements.
“We rely on the support of the community,” she said. “In return, we can afford members of the community a great opportunity to try their hand at broadcasting.”
Kyra Richards, 17, of Southampton, attended the fair with her older sister, who was interested in an interior design company.
Richards, a junior in high school, said she was looking for a summer opportunity that might help her figure out what she wants to study in college. She has an interest in media and was excited to find two radio stations at the event.
“It’s nice that it’s all in one place,” she said. “Most of these places I didn’t even know existed or were looking for people. This gave me the connections I was looking for.”
Photo: Teens and young adults fill out resumes and job applications during Southampton's 11th Job and Internship Fair. (May 15, 2012)