Two career fairs look to lessen the sobering unemployment numbers wrought by recent economic woes. With unemployment at 10 percent in New Jersey — and at its highest nationally in 25 years — the fairs hope to find work for biotech scientists and women looking to return to the job.

BioNJ and the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development are sponsoring the “Bioscience Career Fair” on Thursday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the College of New Jersey’s Social Sciences building, on Pennington Avenue in Ewing. The event will feature bioscience recruiters, business start-up advisors, education options, professional networking organizations, and career coaches. There also will be several workshops featuring perspectives and tips from bioscience headhunters, resume tune-ups, social networking strategies, and alternatives to working for a for-profit company — starting your own business, considering nonprofits, and teaching.

The event is free. For more information visit www.bionj.org

Next Step Network, a group promoting employment for women, will host “Career Awareness Day” on Sunday, March 14, beginning at noon at the East Brunswick Jewish Center on Ryder’s Lane. The network was founded by Mary Ellen Keller, a vice president at Morgan Stanley. The event is sponsored by the Jewish Center and is aimed at women re-entering the workforce.

Keller, a financial professional who managed her career while raising two sons by herself, says the event is not a standard career fair. Rather, it is designed to provide tips and strategies for women looking to re-join the workforce, out of want or sheer necessity. The event will feature networking, conversations, and support for women who do not know where to start after many months or years away from work.

“Very few resources are readily available to women who don’t know where to begin searching,” Keller says. “Job searching has changed significantly. Our goal is to bridge that gap for these women and empower them to help themselves.

The event is free, and professional women are encouraged to attend and share their experiences. For more information call Lisa Fiore at 732-777-1940, or E-mail lisaf@jfvs.org.

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