Huge turnout at the Visalia Rawhide Job Fair


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The city's minor league baseball team, the Rawhide, is hiring people for its upcoming season.

The job fair started at 9:00 a.m., and went until about 1:00 p.m. Some people started lining up as early as 7:00 a.m.

Team representatives say it's the biggest turnout they've seen.

Saturday, nearly 650 people vied for 120 positions the Visalia Rawhide has available this upcoming season.

Shellie Howard said, "I need a job really bad."

Howard of Visalia was laid off from her restaurant job more than a year ago.

Since then, Howard says she's tried looking for work, but hasn't been successful.

Shellie Howard said, "I've been going through a temp service right now and they can't even get me nothing."

Adrian Arzola of Tulare shares those same frustrations. Last season, he worked in retail at the ballpark. This year, he has another job, but it only keeps him busy a few hours per week.

Adrian Arzola said, "It's just no jobs available right now, for like people like me, cause I'm still in school so I'm having trouble finding a job."

Jobs with the Rawhide start at minimum wage, and rise for returning staff.

The team's general manager says, it's enough to keep this year's applicant pool strong.

Tom Seidler says, "It used to be college kids getting summer jobs, but it's really gone beyond this now as the economy has been tough, so again we're giving 100 to 120 good 5 month jobs everything from college age to retirees."

In Tulare County, the most current unemployment rate stands at 17.7 percent.

Visalia's mayor, Bob Link says new job opportunities for residents won't just bring more money into the local community, it will also boost morale.

Link said, "People who have a job, who are getting a paycheck have a much better image of themselves."

"I'll take anything, yes." Howard said, "Any part of it they will give me, I will take!"

The Rawhide season starts the first week of April. But, people hired will start training in less than two weeks.

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