Thousands of job seekers attended the Central Valley Job Fair at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock on Wednesday. The job fair was hosted by United States Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and facilitated by the Stanislaus Economic Development & Workforce Alliance (The Alliance) to provide an opportunity for job seekers to meet face-to-face with employers looking for new hires in the region.
“At a time when unemployment levels are unacceptably high, helping people in the Central Valley get back to work is a top priority of mine,” said Congressman Denham. “Yesterday’s job fair was a great opportunity to match local businesses that are in need of qualified workers with individuals in our community who are looking for work.”
Coordinators with the event reported that over 2,000 job seekers attended the job fair, while 47 participating employers represented nearly 500 job openings available in the local region.
One of the participating employers that were not on the announcement list was Google.
Google representatives stated that Congressman Denham personally got their company to send them to the job fair, something they normally do not do.
Denham’s office confirmed that Congressman Denham was in fact able to connect with contacts at Google during his visit with their cyberspace experts in May during a tour of the nearby Google Mountain View Headquarters, and encouraged them to participate upon learning about several open positions they were looking to fill.
Participating employers ranged from agricultural to investment to retail companies, and others.
Job seekers ranged from veterans to those looking for career changes to students looking for their first job.
Theresa Archuleta, a 2012 high school graduate from Modesto, attended her first job fair on Wednesday after finding out about it through The Alliance.
“I’ve never been to a job fair, this was my first one, I didn’t know what to expect. I liked it, all the employers here.”
Archuleta said that she was able to ask what employers were looking for, what aspects of the company the representatives liked, and was able to turn in some resumes.
“I enrolled for college at MJC and start in January but I’m currently looking for something because I can’t just do nothing until then, I want to be a busy person,” stated Archuleta.
Archuleta was talking to Walmart regarding cashiering opportunities and how the company promotes their employees from any position to possibly management.
Walmart’s Market Human Resource Manager Chris Rafter explained how he was looking for assistant manager candidates and did accept some resumes while also telling many people how to apply online.
PG&E, who was the first booth straight ahead of the entrance, next to the Walmart booth, and PG&E Recruiting Manager Tom Tanner reported running out of their 2,000 business cards, while then running out of flyers being handed out as an alternative.
Tanner was keeping an eye out for certain positions and mostly informing people how to apply at the company.
Tanner was excited to see a couple gas welders, some people with journeyman electrician backgrounds, and some CSU Stanislaus graduates with IT and computer science backgrounds.
“We have about 2,000 open jobs at PG&E; everything from customer service, administrative, technical, gas welders, financial analysts… everything we have right now is open and we’re hiring so I wanted to come out and talk to people about the jobs open, how to apply, and give them an update on the process,” stated Tanner.
A lot of application processes are online, but resumes were still being accepted by many employers at the job fair.
Tanner stated that this was the 3rd or 4th job fair he has attended this year, and that this was the best one he had been to.
“When they opened up you saw all the people come in and it was sort of a stampede, and for 4 solid hours there was a line of about 30-40 people deep waiting to talk to PG&E,” stated Tanner.
The results from the Central Valley Job Fair continue as people on the TurlockCityNews.com facebook are reporting job interviews that came via job fair contacts and some job opportunities are being posted, even after the job fair has ended.
“I am very encouraged by the turnout of yesterday’s job fair, and it was great to see that the event catered to job seekers of all ages and professions,” said Congressman Denham, who hosted the event. “We couldn’t have done it without the partnership of the Stanislaus Alliance. Thanks go to them and to all the businesses and organizations that made this event a great success.”
Congressman Denham also wanted to ensure his constituents, whom he represents in Washington, D.C., that he is working both locally and at the nation’s capital to help the local economy.
“I’m working very hard on the Washington side as well to assure that the federal government helps, rather than hurts, our local economy and small businesses. That’s why I’ve supported over thirty bipartisan solutions in the House of Representatives to encourage our small businesses, entrepreneurs and employers to grow by eliminating red tape and cutting federal budgets.”