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Job fair offers prospects

Economy: More local employers than usual looking to hire at WorkSource job fair at COC

Posted: June 11, 2010 10:25 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Yesenia Garcia of Canyon Country fills out an application to Insurance and Financial Services, at the job fair sponsored by the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center in the College of the Canyons University Center on Friday morning.

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Young graduates and seasoned workers alike filed into a room filled with prospective employers Friday morning to chat with recruiters and fill out job applications.

This was the WorkSource Center’s 10th monthly job fair at College of the Canyons. Typically, a dozen or so companies are represented, but on Friday there were around 20 from various industries.

About 100 people attended the fair. Many were likely among the 7.4 percent of the Santa Clarita work force that is unemployed.

Debbie White, of Canyon Country, has been to several job fairs and said Friday she thinks she may have even found a lead.

“I’m delighted this is so convenient,” she said. “I know it has helped me, and I do know others who have found positions.”

White was a program coordinator at the California Institute of Technology. She was laid off in October when the department she worked for closed.

At first, she said, she was just looking for jobs in the education field. After attending a transferable skills workshop sponsored by the WorkSource Center, she has expanded her search. 

“I realized I have enough experience to be an administrative assistant in any other industry,” she said.

Though White has gone through periods of discouragement during her eight months of unemployment, she is optimistic. 

“The market is starting to look better. When I was first laid off, it was a little bleak,” White said.

White attributes this to both a slight turnaround in the economy and the fact that she continues to improve her resume and stays enthusiastic about her search. 

This job fair targeted Santa Clarita residents like White. Most jobs showcased were local, or within a short commute of this area. 

One company representative, Jennifer Zimmerman, from Pleasantview Industries, was at the job fair for the first time.

“I’ve been impressed with the people who have come through,” she said. 

Her recommendation to all job seekers is to bring a resume and leave it with anyone they speak with. She said one never knows what will come up.

That was the same advice given by the WorkSource Center, who told all job seekers to come dressed professionally with multiple copies of their resume.

Jessica Freude, the supervisor of the job fair, said the center’s goal is to help fill all available positions in Santa Clarita.

They want to help the unemployed. 

“Every single (WorkSource official) here is here to show them there are opportunities,” Freude said.

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