A working connection

Ray Lambert, 66, is focused on completing an application for a driving position with Community Action Partnership of Madera County during the Workforce Job Fair in Oakhurst last Thursday.
Ray Lambert, 66, is focused on completing an application for a driving position with Community Action Partnership of Madera County during the Workforce Job Fair in Oakhurst last Thursday. Sierra Star

During last Thursday’s 12th Annual Job Fair, sponsored by Madera County Workforce Assistance Center, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house when it came to employers, who were ready to meet and conduct mini interviews with job applicants.

Jobseekers were able to speak face-to-face with business representatives in an effort to make positive impressions, give skill summaries, pass out resumes, and turn in completed job applications. Approximately 80 jobseekers attended, most appreciative that so many area employers (23) were easily accessible - all under one roof.

“To have the opportunity to interface with multiple employers in the same room is so helpful,” said Ray Lambert, who applied for a driving position with the Community Action Partnership of Madera County. Lambert, 66, is currently an in-home healthcare provider.

Single mom Emily Williams, 24, is looking for work in hospitality to support her two children, saying, “I’ve done some housekeeping, and am currently learning basic office skills under the Department of Social Services.”

Ray Moore, 19, has never worked. A recent high school graduate, he hoped to find a job in “anything. I’m willing to do whatever the employer needs if I get paid.” As he admired the Tenaya display covered with colorful photos, he told Wendy Burke, Regional Director of Human Resources, how gorgeous the lodge is before getting down to the business of talking about job possibilities.

“We have 63 openings, all in hospitality,” Burke said, handing Moore a lengthy listing of open positions. (To apply: tenayalodge.com/careers). Tenaya will also hold a Job Fair 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., April 11, at the Tenaya Recruiting Center (40879 Highway 41, Suite 1B1, Oakhurt; 559-641-2208).

“There are more weddings scheduled this year than we’ve ever had at the Pines, so we really need banquet workers, and other seasonal staff,” said Connie Beauregard, Pines Resort HR director. “You can download an app at basslake.com, or pick one up at the front desk.”

As the three-hour afternoon event came to a close, it appeared to be a win-win for all those who participated.

“A few employers told me they had scheduled interviews with applicants, and had also gathered resumes for other job openings,” said Pam Lowery, Workforce business specialist. “Considering the goal of the job fair was to connect jobseekers with employers, this was definitely a successful event.”

For those jobseekers unable to attend, the following is a partial listing of employers and open positions.

Hospitality: The Forks is looking for seasonal workers. Apply at theforksresort.com. Camp Green Meadows in Fish Camp (a science school) needs a cook and teachers (naturalists). Call Principal Bob Bassett at (559) 642-0122 or bbassett@mcoe.org.

Food industry: McDonalds is seeking outgoing enthusiastic people for summer hires. Apply at McDonalds.com, click on employment opportunities, and store #7013 (Oakhurst location). Casa Velasco in Bass Lake is looking for bussers and hostesses. Pick up an application at the restaurant.

Law enforcement: The California Highway Patrol needs officers and volunteers. Apply at chp.ca.gov. Madera County Sheriff’s Department is looking for deputies, and is seeking volunteers for Citizen’s on Patrol. Apply at madera-county.com.

Medical: Oakhurst Healthere & Wellness Center is seeking RNs, LVNs, CNAs, housekeepers, and dietary staff. All interested applicants can pick up an application from the front desk. Camarena Health needs a receptionist, dental assistant, RDA, and medical assistant. Apply at camarenahealth.org.

Business: Sierra Tel has openings in for an entry level customer care associate and an associate trainer in regulatory management. Apply at SierraTel.com/employment for application and submission process. Community Action Partnership of Madera County has several openings , including associate teacher, instructional aide, and maintenance worker I. To apply: maderacap.org. Madera County Department of Social Services also has a few positions. See mss.ca.gov and click on Career Opportunities.

Other: Golden 1 is seeking a part time teller at the Oakhurst site. To apply: golden1.com/careers. Big 5 is looking for full-time staff, including cashier and sales, and a full-time management trainee. Apply online at big5.com/careers.

About Workforce

The Workforce Assistance Center, located at 2037 West Cleveland Avenue, assists workers through retraining and job placement. Services include job skills assessment and development, career coaching, vocational and on-the-job training, services to individuals with disabilities, and assistance in obtaining a GED.

They also offer paid work experience through a special program available to young adults, 18-24, as well as a variety of other services.

Workforce will host a second Job Fair in Madera, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, April 6, at the Madera District Fair Hatfield Hall, 1850 Cleveland Avenue.

Details: The Workforce Assistance Center, (559) 662-4500.