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Jobs fair draws 700 employment hopefuls

Posted: October 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Hundreds of attendees visit the 57 booths offering job and educational information and opportunities at the Job & Career Fair held at College of the Canyons' Valencia campus on Wednesday. Photo by Dan Watson.

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About 700 people turned out Wednesday for the Fall 2013 Job & Career Fair at College of the Canyons, where nearly 60 businesses and agencies from the Santa Clarita Valley and the greater Los Angeles area set up to recruit new workers.

“There’s financial institutions looking or insurance sales — that’s one of our popular ones,” said Anthony Michaelides, director of COC career services, who coordinated the fair. “There’s a lot of law enforcement here today. We have some nonprofits and private colleges.”

The largest represented industry was customer service, he added. “In Santa Clarita, that’s one of the biggest industries. We get a lot of that at our fairs.”

After visiting a few booths, COC student Telma Davies said the Marriott, AAA and the post office seemed the most promising in her job hunt.

“I don’t get many offers here in Santa Clarita because sometimes they require a lot of experience,” she said. “For somebody like me who never worked here in America, you try to get in to an intro-level (job), and it’s very hard.”

Davies moved to the United States eight years ago. She worked as a physical therapist and a Portuguese teacher in her native Brazil, but here she has had to start over.

“Here you have to do a master’s or doctorate degree to work as a physical therapist,” she said. “What I like about some of these companies — it’s an entry level, so they train you.”

The job fair was helpful, she said.

“You have a contact to talk to face-to-face, so any doubts you have before applying, you can clarify them here,” she said.

Michaelides estimated the crowd at the COC Valencia campus small gym at 700 and suggested attendees visit every booth regardless of the industry.

“If you were looking for an accounting position, every one of these booths could have accounting positions, the nonprofit, the law enforcement — they all need accountants to do their books,” he said.

COC student Cameron Hudson said he was looking for positions in IT and computer networking but found that many of the jobs offered in those fields were beyond his qualifications.

“I have only seen maybe two places that are possibly hiring, but they’re not looking for entry-level employment,” he said.


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