170 employers attend 'Rebuild Sonoma' job fair directed at North Bay fire victims

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Nearly one month after the devastating North Bay fires, some Sonoma County fire victims are taking the first steps in looking for new jobs.

On Tuesday, 170 North Bay employers gathered in Rohnert Park for the Rebuild Sonoma County Job Fair directed at fire victims looking to start anew.

Hundreds of people are estimated to be unemployed as a result of the fires.

360 PHOTOS: Devastation caused by wildfires in Sonoma, Napa

Just being in this room at the Graton Resort and Casino seems like a dream for Joanna Medina, who lost her home when the blaze ripped through Coffey Park.

"I look at things in a whole new light almost," she said. "What's important ... what's needed and what's not needed."

Many people in the fire zone not only lost their homes, but also their jobs as businesses burned to the ground.

Being "displaced" and without a home, Medina said, has her reevaluating her future.

"I thought maybe I need a change in my career, also," she said. "So, I am looking for something that calls for me."
She currently works in the medical field but is open to making a change.

"I want to make a difference in people's lives," she said. "I would like to more directly have contact with people."

BEFORE AND AFTER: North Bay neighborhoods devastated by wildfires

Beth Milwid, who teaches a career development skills course at Sonoma State University, said there's a broad range of jobs and careers available the North Bay.

"There's everything from mom-and-pop grocery stores ... (to) major hospitals here," she said.

Employers at the job fair represented a wide range of fields, with positions ranging from management to entry level. But they all have one goal - to help this community take steps in moving forward.

Click here for a look at more stories and videos about the North Bay fires.
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