Solar company holds a job fair in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Hundreds filed through a Southeast Fresno warehouse hoping to rejoin the work force on Saturday.

"It's a let down, but you still have to go down there and hit the road and knock on doors, it's a numbers game," said Edna Collins for Fresno.

"The job market isn't that great putting in lots of applications and the hard part is waiting to hear back from them," said Michael Stoddard of Fresno.

On Saturday, Southern California based Verango Solar Plus held a job fair. The company is looking to fill between 30 and 50 positions. About 350 applicants showed up.

"We had them trying to come in before 8 o'clock this morning and we weren't even starting before 10," said Blair Jenson with Verengo Solar Plus.

The company specializes in installing solar panels on homes. On Saturday recruiters looked to hire sales consultants, solar installers, and electricians.

According to the state's Employment Development Department, Fresno County's unemployment rate is 16.2 percent. The national unemployment rate is about 8 percent.

Steve Watkins of Easton knows first hand what it's like to look for work. "I have been to several job fairs and I know that's just the tip of the iceberg because not everybody attends those."

Watkins says he has about 40 years of experience working as an electrician. He's been unemployed for more than a year and misses working. "The finished job, when you go over and you turn on the light switch on and all the lights come on and the customer has a smile on their face, it's a sense of accomplishment."

Job fair organizers say the solar energy industry may provide more openings in the Valley for people like Watkins. "Our new base being here in Fresno, we are going to continue to hire here."

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