Work In Progress
by Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency, http://www.rcrda.us/
With many communities in the west end of San Bernardino County still reporting high unemployment rates — some in double digits — a major recruitment event like the Inland Empire West End Job Fair was a welcome sight for anxious job seekers. The event, which drew approximately 3,000 attendees and more than 100 employers representing multiple industries, turned out to be just the ticket for those on both sides of the “interview table.”
This was the second year for Inland Empire West End Job Fair, a recruitment event that focused on connecting local residents with local companies offering both full- and part-time employment. Some jobseekers were looking for long-term permanent positions; some, part-time jobs to supplement current incomes; and others were pursuing seasonal opportunities in anticipation of possible extended employment.
A diverse mix of employers and industries were represented including management, professional and technical positions with companies/organizations such as Gentex Corporation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Lewis Group of Companies; distribution and warehouse occupations with companies like Aerotek Staffing, Sears and United Parcel Service (UPS); sales (American Eagle Outfitters, JC Penny, Eddie Bauer, Express, etc.); law enforcement/security (LAPD, CPS Dept. of Public Safety, Federal Bureau of Prisons, etc.); health care (Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Cambrian Homecare; Home Instead Senior Care, etc.); and education (Child Care Careers, Lighthouse Learning Resource Center, etc.). Additionally, there were dozens of employers offering jobs in the areas of clerical, financial consulting, general sales, maintenance, restaurant service, recreation and miscellaneous business services.
Many of the attendees came from the communities that Fair organizers targeted (namely, the participating cities), but jobseekers were reported to have come from as far away as Temecula. There were more than 300 job fair attendees from Rancho Cucamonga and hundreds more from surrounding communities.
Ricardo Sawyer, a Rancho Cucamonga resident who had been out of work for two years was one of the fortunate ones to land one of 3,500 jobs being offered. He had left a previous job for a better opportunity, and then lost it when the economy turned sour.
“It happened at the worst time ever,” he said.
There were no doubt many others who have landed jobs since the Job Fair was held, as many of the employers indicated that they would most likely be hiring some of the candidates they had met with that day.
The Inland Empire West End Job Fair was originally launched in 2009 through a desire by community members in the City of Upland and public officials from the cities of Upland and Rancho Cucamonga to assist local residents with finding employment opportunities. A subsequent meeting took place between the two cities, the First Presbyterian Church in Upland, County of San Bernardino and the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce to discuss a multi-community event. As a result of the meeting, other west-end cities and partners were invited to participate too.
This year, all of the original partners returned to host the 2010 event including the cities of Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, Chino Hills,Montclair, Ontario and Upland; County of San Bernardino;LA/Ontario International Airport; Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce; Inland Valley Daily Bulletin; The Spa – AM 1510 and theFirst Presbyterian Church of Upland. Also joining the partners this year was the City of Fontana.
The Inland Empire West End Job Fair proved to be a success on many levels. Employer participation and satisfaction were evident by numerous employer comments that were received: “Excellent job fair…met great candidates,” “Very well done,” “Amazing event! Thank you.” And, many of the candidates themselves had indicated that they were happy with the event: “Thank you for the opportunities,” “Excellent location…” “My first job fair…it’s great!”
As 2010 winds down and 2011 gets underway, many local companies are beginning to ramp up for future growth, and that’s good news for local residents seeking employment. It’s even better news for many of those who connected with employers at the Inland Empire West End Job Fair and are now part of the I.E. work force once again. For them, the future is, indeed, much brighter.
Did you miss the 2010 Inland Empire West End Job Fair? If so, check out current Rancho Cucamonga employment opportunities available in the Rancho Job Shop.