Money and Main Street
4 of 6
Rich Salon
Heroic act: Organizing a career fair for laid-off employees
Position: HR at Circuit City
Hometown: Richmond, Va.

When Circuit City announced in January that it would liquidate after 60 years in business, it meant there would be huge sales -- and even bigger layoffs. The company axed 80% of its 34,000-person workforce, with more than 2,000 of those cuts coming in its headquarter city, Richmond, Va.

Rich Salon, regional human resources director, was one of those told he would need to start looking when he wrapped up his duties. He'd worked at Circuit City for three years, but he knew some associates had been there for three decades. He wanted to help.

Salon and Circuit City decided a career fair was needed. The only problem: Communication. After Jan. 20, most of the employees no longer had to report to work, and the company computer system was scheduled to be dismantled at any time. So Salon reached out to contacts via LinkedIn.

He approached his former employer, Home Depot, and asked them to come to the fair. BJ's Wholesale Club joined soon after. All told, Salon managed to bring in 80 companies, some flying in from as far as Colorado, to meet with 1,000 former Circuit City employees on Feb. 3 and 4.

"If we could have gotten 20 companies, we would have been happy," Salon says. "It's far exceeded the expectations. The company reps told us our employees were very upbeat, very excited."

He's heard that some companies have extended job offers, though a lack of manpower makes it impossible to track official numbers. He hopes the success of Circuit City's job fair will send a message to other companies in the same situation: Jobs are out there somewhere, and employees should receive aid in finding them.

"The business's social responsibility should not end when it announces liquidation," Salon says. "Even if an employer is going out of business, it can and should continue to help its employees."

Salon is still winding down Circuit City business, but he has yet to find a new position for himself. -- J.P.

NEXT: Mike Heritage

Last updated April 14 2009: 11:18 AM ET
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.