Hundreds in Merced wait to hear if they've been hired

MERCED, California

The job fair in Merced included positions in the medical field, agriculture, retail, and much more. It was a welcome event for this area because Merced County continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the Valley with nearly 18 percent of people out of work.

A long line of job seekers waited outside the American Legion Hall in Downtown Merced hoping to bring an end to their search.

Inside the job fair, more than twenty different employers met with candidates including Walmart, the Atwater Federal Prison, and a nut processing plant in Gustine.

Larks Realty is also hiring. Marketing Director John Cardenas says the high number of foreclosures has created opportunities for agents to sell to first time buyers and investors.

Veteran Ricardo Caldera is optimistic this event may help him find work. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but has struggled since returning home.

Now the tough part for these applicants will be waiting to hear if their search for work is finally over.

The "One Step Forward Committee of Merced County" put on the job fair. The group is planning to host another one in the spring, but the date and location have not yet been decided.

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