After four years of unsuccessful job searching, Michelle Scot, 41 walked out of the CVIC Hall on Friday with five applications and a boost in confidence.
The Carson Valley Job Opportunity Fair connected job seekers with more than 30 businesses representing manufacturing, hospitality, golf courses, staffing agencies and more.
“I haven’t been able to connect with anything,” Scot said. “Today’s job fair increased my confidence by enabling me to get some background on the companies I want to apply for.“
Scot said looking for a job has been an intimidating process.
“I was anxious when I got here, but as soon as I started asking questions, I calmed down,” she added. “Everyone was really friendly and helpful. This was a good job fair.”
Denise Castle, Douglas County Workforce Development case manager, said job fairs are a great way to connect job seekers with businesses.
“It’s a small investment of time for a business where they can get access to several hundred applicants,” she said. “We see ourselves as a link.”
Friday’s event connected close to 100 job seekers with potential employers in the first half hour.
With resume in hand, Gardnerville Ranchos resident Richard Williams connected with the Marriott in Carson City about a possible job in its culinary department.
After moving from Los Angeles in July, Williams said he is anxious to find full-time work so he can put down roots with his wife and 10-year-old son.
“It’s always easier when you can come together with the people who are hiring and make connections,” he said. “I find this fair much more personable than job fairs in L.A.”
One of the businesses looking for skilled employees was Rite of Passage, an agency that works with troubled and at-risk youth from social services, welfare agencies and juvenile courts.
In need of coach counselors, administrative staff, medical personnel and instructors for its six group homes, Clarissa O’Connell of human resources said she likes to hire locally.
“We’re based in Minden. Our staff, owners and upper management live here. We like to hire individuals from the community,” she added. “The job fair also helps the community know what we do. We find all types of candidates for our programs.”
Not only was Rite of Passage hiring, but Guidance Career Counselor Monica Lechuga helped graduating students find jobs.
“I transition them to go home, so learning how to network and ask the right questions is vital for them to move on in life and succeed in the competitiveness of the workforce,” she said. “Networking is definitely a skill I’m trying to teach them.”
ROP student David C., 17, was considering a career in the healthcare field.
“It caught my interest,” he said. “I know a little about the human body and want to learn more so I can help people.”
David picked up applications from a golf course, the State of Nevada and a senior home care center.
In addition to job development programs, Douglas County Social Services offers a resource center, housing programs, medical assistance, food and utility programs and support services.
For more information, call 782-9825 or visit www.douglascountynv.gov.
The job fair was sponsored by Douglas County Workforce Development, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Douglas County and the Minden-Tahoe Airport.