Career fair focus on more than jobs

August 24, 2009 6:53:36 PM PDT
As many as 10,000 people are expected to attend a job and resources fair in Morgan Hill this Saturday. The fair will feature a wide variety of jobs ranging from retail to financial services, but it's not just about jobs.

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The fair will also feature free health screenings, services from the employment development department and other government and non-profit agencies. It's also a celebration of the contributions of migrant workers to our community.

Workers toil in the fields of Gilroy picking tomatoes. It's is back-breaking labor.

"It's hard. You have to get up early to go to work and you get home late, all tired. It's not a very bright future," said Felipe Juarez, from Soledad.

That's why Juarez is taking accounting classes at Work 2 Future and the Center for Employment Training hoping for a better future. It's an example he would like other migrant workers to follow -- many who are now out of work.

"A lot of job cuts everywhere. On the field too because a lot of people that are farmers are not growing as much product as they used to," said Juarez.

Armando Carrillo has worked in the fields for 24 years. He's now getting training in building maintenance and solar panel installation and plans to attend the job fair.

"Especially after 24 years of working in farm labor he's tired, he's getting old, he just can't do this kind of work anymore," said a translator for Carrillo.

The fair will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pumpkin Park in Morgan Hill on Monterey Road. It's put on by Work 2 Future and co-sponsored by ABC7.

"I think it is an event where people are able to enjoy themselves and learn about the resources that maybe before weren't aware that existed," said Jeff Ruster, the Executive Director of Work 2 Future.

Employers hiring at the fair include Best Buy, Prudential Insurance and Enterprise Protective Services. Jobs available include positions in sales, financial services, and security. Abbey Serrano worked in the fields with her parents at age 5 until high school. Then she took classes for the Center for Employment Training.

"They offered my brothers and myself training. So that we don't have to work in the fields," said Abbey Serrano, from the Center for Employment Training.

Now, she's a supervisor with the agency that trained her.

LINKS:
Work 2 Future: work2future.org
Center for employment Training: www.cetweb.org
ABC7 resources: Local Job Fairs
Other job programs listed by County: www.edd.ca.gov

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