Job Fair in Visalia, Overqualified Job Applicants

April 15, 2009 10:36:45 PM PDT
This year's Tulare County Job Fair attracted about 1,900, less than what organizers expected. Still, the job fair was a success for some. Employers and the Unemployed packed the Visalia Convention Center on Wednesday. The Workforce Investment Board says this year's job fair attracted different employers. Sandi Miller with the Workforce Investment Board said, "This is the first year we've had a lot of manufacturers. Usually we have more clerical support."

Right now, Tulare County has a startling 17% unemployment rate which translates to about 35,000 people without jobs. Esther Merguia, Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino said, "There are quite a few job. Not as much as we usually have but we are still hiring."

This year, the Workforce Investment Board added a new feature ? speed interviewing. People can practice their interviewing skills and get feedback. Sandi Miller said, "It may be, well, you didn't look me in the eye, you didn't shake my hand or you speak too soft."

While many employers had booths, not all were interviewing or hiring on site. Kathy Sauermilch from Tulare said, "I was looking for more people that were actually looking to hire people today."

One man who did hire on the spot had a blunt message for those inquiring about the jobs he had available. Trent Pollack, Hanford Mall, said, "They want to know about the benefits and I tell them we've got great benefits. You get a check, you deposit it in your bank account and it clears."

Pollack is hiring maintenance and janitorial workers for the Hanford Mall. He hired three people at the job fair. Pollack said, "I had a guy with 25 years of experience in construction come up, a big burly guy, you could tell he's perfect. He's going to work tomorrow."

Many employers say most job seekers were overqualified. At the end of the day, SunTree packing had collected hundreds of applications and resumes for just 25 openings. Linda Cortez, SunTree, said, "The one I just got the guy was an engineer from India willing to take anything."

Other big companies like Ruiz Foods and Land O' Lakes were at the job fair but they each only had two or three openings.

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