TRURO - Jordan Haverstock got so caught up in working the controls of a simulated front-end loader, he didn't even realize a lineup had started to grow behind him.
"I'm here today to see if I want a trade because that is one of my goals in life," the 16-year-old Stewiacke resident said, after checking out the Dexter Construction booth at the InspirationWorx job fair in Truro on Tuesday.
"I want to be on the big rigs likes trucks, loaders," he said.
The computerized simulators and another mechanical model of an excavator proved to be one of the most popular booths at the annual fair, but it certainly wasn't the only attraction.
In all, 44 companies, businesses and other employers had displays on hand, and organizer Tara Firth of Truro's FutureWorx said more than 400 people showed up check out the various displays and make inquiries about potential jobs and career opportunities.
"I think it's gone really well," Firth said near day's end. "I've just actually been in talking to our exhibitors and they've been pleased with the organization and sort of the flow and they've had some interest in their booths," she said.
"I think I'm really satisfied with the day. When I went around to the booths ... so far they said it was quite favourable, they liked the venue, they liked the way it was laid out and organized, and I even had one comment on how they really liked how they were treated as exhibitors. So I'm pleased with that, that they're happy because that's how we're going to get exhibitors coming back again."
Two really popular attractions at the fair, outside of the job booths, were Bruce Croxon, one of the panelists from the CBC television show Dragons' Den, and a performance by Juno-nominated singer JRDN(Jordan Coucher) of Nova Scotia.
"I know Jordan was really, really popular with the kids," Firth said. "They were very excited and there were a lot of hugs given out."
For Diana Read-Miedeema, owner of Simply Financials on Willow Street, however, Croxon, was her highlight of the day.
"I love Dragons' Den and I've been watching it for years," she said, moments after presenting Croxon with some gifts, including specially made fly-fishing hooks created in the gold and orange colours of the Dragons' Den logo. Jamie Caddock of Chasing Silver created the hooks in Truro.
"So he was very delighted and that makes me very delighted," she said.
As a financial coach, Read-Miedeema also had a booth at the fair. And she certainly didn't pass up the opportunity to make her own personal pitch to Croxon.
"I've actually asked Bruce to give me business for Dragons' Den," she said. "I would be very, very good for all the newbies that are coming on Dragon's Den. I can help train them and teach them and set them up so the books are accurate."
In keeping with the job fair, itself, however, Andrew Meldrum, 19, of Truro said he was pleased with the booth selection as he expressed interest in a variety of career possibilities, ranging from construction to massage therapy to the field of mental health.
"I enjoy it, it's pretty good," he said.
"There are a lot of them ... I'm interested in a lot of things."