Students and adults anxious to find work

Brian Wilkinson and Carmen GeorgeMarch 14, 2013 

Two job fairs, one at Yosemite High School and one at the Oakhurst Community Center March 7, drew large crowds of people ready, willing and able to go to work.

The high school job fair, organized by librarian Janelle Balaguy and library tech Kellie Romine, was attended by mor than 100 students who had the opportunity to talk to representatives from The Forks Resort, Miller Landing Resort, Bass Lake Water Sports, Tenaya Lodge, McDonalds and Carl's Jr.

Although Jacob Peredia, 18, an ambitious Yosemite High senior already has a job bussing tables at Crab Cakes Restaurant, he was seeking a morning job to earn additional money. He will be attending Cal State Northridge in the fall majoring in electrical engineering and said he needs all the funds he can get.

"I'm willing to work two jobs to help pay for books, cart and pother expenses," Peredia said.

Ed Hampton, Carl's Jr. district manager and Elizabeth Becker, assistant manager of the Oakhurst outlet, are planning on hiring six new employees for the upcoming summer season.

"We talked to four or five candidates we feel would be good for us," Hampton said. "Elizabeth, along with manager Jose Baltizar, will do second interviews with the students soon. We are going to hire two people immediately, two in April and two in May so we'll be ready for summer."

In preparation of the job fair, Romine presented a résumé workshop a week earlier attended by more than 80 students.

Romine's power point presentation emphasized important components of a professional résumé including job objectives, education, accomplishments, extracurricular activities, specific skills, references and work experience.

"A lot of the students do not have a lot of work experience but they still have transferable life experience skills they have learned like getting to school on time and learning about deadlines by completing homework assignments on time," Romine said.

Romine said the "do's" of a résumé include:

Make it look professional.

Print on only one side of standard size white paper.

Keep it to one page.

Use bullets and powerful verbs.

Don't undersell yourself.

Use keywords of your field.

The "don'ts" of a résumé include:

Don't exaggerate.

Don't misspell words or names.

Do not include pictures.

Don't use fonts smaller than 10 point.

Do not use abbreviations.

Don't make it look too crowded.

Carol Cisneros with Central Valley Opportunity Center, a vocational school in Madera, was at the job fair to explain the various programs the school offers in cooking, retail sales, business, welding and the school's new solar installer program.

"The six-week solar installer program includes construction basics, 10 hours of Cal-OSHA approved safety training, labs that provide hands-on practice and off-site field experience," Cisneros said.

Details about the school can be received by calling (559) 662-4574.

At the Oakhurst Community Center, about a hundred people met with representatives from 11 businesses in the area during the job fair put on by the Madera County Workforce Investment Corporation.

The workforce has hosted a job fair in Oakhurst once a year for seven years.

"A lot of the people were able to complete applications at the job fair," said Jorge Espinosa, business services representative with Madera County Workforce. "We had a few tables where the people came in and sat down and put in an application. There were some prescreening interviews on the spot, and some of the employers felt they really got good employees for the positions."

For job seekers that may have missed last week's job fair, Espinosa said the workforce has an Oakhurst office located at 40325 Highway 41, in the Social Services building near the corner of Highway 41 and Crane Valley Road (426). The Madera County Workforce helps community members find work, and also provides other services, like setting up job fairs for private businesses.

Details: maderaworkforce.org, (559) 658-6263 (Oakhurst office of Madera County Workforce).

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