Job seekers try to impress
February 23, 2013
Kevin McAlpin came from Stockton, Calif., looking for a job in the Nevada capital city he said he intends to make his home after his house there sells.McAlpin, however, found scads of competition from Carson City and environs Friday as the first hour of a Job Fair in the city’s Senior Center dining area challenged fire code limits. Staggered entries were required as earlier job seekers finished and left. The event ran from 2 to 4:30 p.m.McAlpin had done his homework, checking out some of the 38 prospective employers participating online before coming to Carson. He met with Cindy McMurry, a Human Resources technician at the Douglas County, NV Job Fair table. She asked if it was helpful.“Yes, it was,” he replied, thanking her before moving on to other tables in the large but crowded room.Meanwhile, Douglas County Parks Manager Craig Burnside also was at the table looking for workers to help out in upcoming warmer months.“We’ve got some seasonal positions we’re looking to fill,” he said.Event organizers kept count of those joining McAlpin in the hunt for Carson City area employment, saying at day’s end about 600 job seekers had participated.Earlier at a table for Lowe’s home improvement store, a crowd gathered to get information and meet Fiona Wenger, Human Resources manager there the past seven months.Remi Black Elk of Carson City, who said he was 20 and a former Radio Shack sales associate, was among the throng and said he hoped to get one of the open positions at Lowe’s.Wenger, who is from Australia, provided handouts showing five part time positions were available: Three for customer service associates, one for a facilities service associate and another for an unloader.A few tables away Lynn Ellis, Carson City Health & Human Services workforce program case manager, beamed as she watched the afternoon unfold. Ellis spearheaded the effort to get the Job Fair going.Smiling the while, Ellis talked with Michael Zets, who lives off Jacks Valley Road south of Carson City. She lobbied him to join her classes later on job-seeking skills and interviewing.Zets said he was headed to the Bay Area soon for some short-term work but would check in with her when he returned.Ellis and her supervisor, Human Services Manager Jane Ostrander, were pleased with the turnout but Ostrander was wary of getting the room too full, she said it would push fire code rules. Volunteers were on hand to usher people in as others left, providing the incoming hopeful job seekers with information and forms to fill out as they moved in to meet employers’ representatives.Meanwhile, back inside Carl Larson of Carson City was stopped by Janet McFall, agency manager in Carson for Country Financial. She noticed his sport coat and tie, giving him pause as she told him he was dressed to impress and elicited him to join her in a later meeting.Larson sounded willing to discuss working either in Carson or Reno, but did say he wanted to stay close to a relative in the capital. Voicing interest in the opportunity, however, he said Reno isn’t a long commute.He indicated the Country Financial opportunity in insurance and financial services sparked his interest. The Job Fair was sponsored by city HHS, Nevada JobConnect and Job Opportunities in Nevada. Ellis said another was already in the planning stages for next spring.