Thousands visit jobs matchmaker

The Colorado State Patrol was one of the organizations and businesses seeking employees at the Mesa County Workforce Center’s JobFest on Tuesday afternoon at the Lincoln Park Barn.

Nearly 700 job seekers attended the Mesa County Workforce Center job fair before 1 p.m. Tuesday, including more than 100 veterans, the only people admitted during the first hour of the event, a workforce center spokeswoman said.

With three hours left to go, Tuesday’s fair was on track to see as many as 1,800 people for the day, the same number that attended the county’s first job fair in February.

“It’s a really good indicator that this was a necessary event for the community,” workforce center Business Services Manager Suzie Miller said.

Representatives for 30 employers greeted applicants at tables set up around the Lincoln Park Barn.

Mathew Schwartz, events supervisor with Lone Star Security and Safety Services, said more than 15 people submitted applications for a variety of positions, many of which offer on-the-job training.

Danielle Harper, field marketing coordinator for Wendy’s, said more than 50 people applied for 25 jobs available at restaurants from Clifton to Montrose.

Rossa Simmons, human resources manager for Brady Trucking, said 30 people asked about 40 truck driver jobs to be filled before the end of the year. Drivers with a Class A commercial license can earn up to $100,000 a year. The company primarily hauls fracking sand, Simmons said.

Eli Kane, training manager for Flow Data, an industrial automation installation company, said he received “about a bazillion resumes” from people, several of whom he was “very interested” in interviewing to fill five positions.

Job seekers like Ivan Roles, out of work for three years, said he was looking for a job in a warehouse.

“I’m squeezing by, barely at times,” Roles said.

Theresa Millon, out of work three months, wanted something better than her last job, which was in housekeeping.

“A few places were hiring, but they don’t pay very well,” Millon said. “I’m looking for something around $10 an hour, a living wage.”

Jessica Polutnik, mother of two, was returning to the work force after being a stay-at-home mom for the last 18 months. Polutnik, who wanted a certified nursing assistant job, applied for six at the fair.

Taner Baldwin, out of work for a week, wanted to get back into the oil fields after a stint at a solar energy company.

“I honestly think there’s a 99 percent chance I’ll be employed by Friday. I have too much work history to not be able to come up with something,” Baldwin said.


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