Fresno Fair provides income for workers and vendors

FRESNO, Calif.

Organizers of the fair hired more than 1,000 people to put on the fair this year. Some of the seasonal staff say finding work at the fair has been a big boost to their confidence.

Amber Ashford feels lucky to have a job. She says, "Last time I was working full-time was when I was working for the census and that was last year so I am very grateful for the opportunity to work at the fair." Amber works at the Junior Exhibits Building. Sunday is her last day at the fair and even though she will soon be out looking for work, she's optimistic. Ashford says, "My confidence has just gone up. They really make me feel part of the team."

Dane Baldwin with Oakhurst based, Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls says his business went up about 10 percent this year, despite the economic downturn. "Business this year has been absolutely phenomenal! Last year was a record year and this year we are going to beat it."

Baldwin says the fair continues to attract crowds because it's a relatively inexpensive family outing.

Economic experts say whether business is booming or whether you're struggling to find work, landing a job gives a sense of purpose. Fresno State's Bill Rice says, "If you just give somebody money, it doesn't build their self-respect. If you give them a chance to earn it and there is some "sweat equity" involved in the process, then guess what, that builds up their confidence and makes them want to look for other jobs."

Fair organizers say they hire locally in order to pump money back into the economy.

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