Hope was on display at a recent job fair that drew approximately 312 community members searching for work amid double-digit unemployment.
"A lot of people said, 'I have hope. There are opportunities here,'" recalled Denise Castle of Douglas County Employment Training/Job Development. "The businesses said, 'You do have a skilled and talented workforce.'"
The Oct. 10 event at Carson Valley Inn was organized by the county, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Douglas County and the Minden-Tahoe Airport.
Participating companies included American AVK, American Family Insurance, Burger King, Carson City Human Resources, Kirkwood, Carson Valley Inn, Carson Valley Golf Course, Pulse Fitness, Sierra Nevada Media Group, Douglas County School District and Walmart, among others.
Castle said 800 applications were distributed by employers, and 382 were completed and returned on-site. She expects more applications have been or will be returned in the future.
She also said approximately 85 interviews were conducted on-site, and 47 interviews were scheduled for later dates.
"This is our third one (job fair), and it has just gotten bigger and better each time, exceeding our expectations," she said. "Talking to people going out, they said they were walking on air, and they thanked us for the opportunity."
Castle said many participants were looking forward to follow-up interviews and potential employment.
"We are understanding more and more the benefits of that face-to-face contact," she said. "We're really getting back to that grass-roots economic stimulation."