Hundreds of job seekers lined the sidewalks and streets outside the Belvidere Community Center Tuesday morning. Today is day one for the TDS job fair.
The company will be hiring 500 employees for its new parts sorting center for Chrysler and it won't have a shortage of applicants for those positions.
An hour before the job fair even began Tuesday, the line of prospective TDS employees stretched beyond the sidewalk, around the building and nearly to the street. One man says he's been camped out since Monday night.
"I parked in the parking lot last night around 11:30,” says Mike Madeen who slept there the night before.
The job fair at the Belvidere community center marks the beginning of the hiring process for TDS, the company that sorts parts for Belvidere's Daimler Chrysler plant. Process technicians, forklift operators and truck drivers are wanted.
"We're looking for people who have good work ethic and good work skills," says James Schmitt, human resource manager for TDS.
Once inside - there's room for about 250 applicants to fill out an application, turn it in and hope for a call back.
"Within a week or two we will be calling applicants who meet the qualifications back for assessments - reading, math, speed and accuracy assessment," says Robert Jones of Workforce Connection, the agency coordinating the job fair.
The job fair is an effort to initially fill 190 first shift positions and hiring for the 2nd and 3rd shifts will follow. So for now all applicants can do is wait and hope.
"Wait for a phone call I guess or my next step is to go out and look some more," says Tony Musso.
"Hopefully I get it - that's all there is to it," adds Jeff Phillips.