Sierra Vista Mall Holds First Career Fair since COVID-19

As you walk through the Sierra Vista Mall this is the first sight you see, booths full of employers and Human Resource Managers waiting to tell people about their business. (Sydney Morgan/Clovis Roundup)

The first career fair since COVID-19 was organized by Cumulus Broadcasting on August 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sierra Vista Mall.

“It’s a place to bring businesses together from all over the valley,” said Chris Miller, Marketing Director for Cumulus Broadcasting.

As that rate of unemployment is still an issue in the community, and the world, Cumulus Broadcasting wanted to make it easier for the people of Clovis to find a job or career both quickly and efficiently.

“It’s a one stop shop for people who are interested in either getting a job, or maybe want to switch careers, or look and see what other opportunities are out there,” said Miller.

According to the Employment Development Department, “the unemployment rate in Fresno County was 9.3 percent in July 2021.”

The benefits of unemployment make it hard for individuals to want to go out and look for a job, but at the end of the day it’s all about the long term goal instead of short term relief.

The Sierra Vista Mall had 55 booths lined up inside, all full of eager employers waiting to tell the job seekers about their businesses.

The first booth you see when you walk through the entry doors is the PHE, otherwise known as Pacific Health Education. They are seeking people who are caring of elderly people, at least 18 years of age, and who have a clean background.

PHE offers a 30 day program that guarantees job placement in hospice care, whether that be in nursing homes or at home health.

“You don’t need a high school diploma or GED, you just need to be able to read, write and converse in English,” said Nancy Hackett, a registered nurse at the booth.

Another booth, Spherion, was hiring for occupations classified under warehouse general labor. These include jobs like forklift operators, welders, bookkeepers, and handling shipments or products.

The job with the highest demand in this business was the forklift driver. For this particular job, Spherion requires 6 month prior work experience and a certification to occupy a forklift.

“We have nearly 100 openings we are looking to fill today, and we’ll make the best match for the position you’re looking for,” said Rose Marie Ardire, the Regional Sales Manager for Spherion.

Another booth that took part in the career fair was Tomas Cuisine. They were hiring for all nutrition and dining positions within community medical center properties.

Some specific jobs within Thomas Cuisine include cooks, baristas, dishwashers, dietitians, and everything in between. The only requirement is to have a high school diploma.

“It’s a great job for someone out of high school, a professional chef, or a registered dietitian,” said Ashley Voorneveld, the California Human Resource Manager for Thomas Cuisine.

With the ability to gather so many different businesses under one roof it allows people who are looking for work to talk to multiple businesses at one specific time, and see which ones are the best fit for them.

“We’re anxious to get people back to work,” said Miller, “some of them will land a job right on the spot.”

Career fairs are important and useful because they allow individuals to network with people and businesses within their community. They also teach people professionalism, how to ‘dress to impress’, how to utilize their experience to create resumes, and the importance of first impressions.

With the threat of COVID-19 decreasing due to vaccinations and mask mandates, the businesses that make up our city and surrounding communities are able to open back up. However, they can’t reopen successfully if there are no workers. That is why a career fair in a time like this is so influential for the people, the city, and the economy overall.

“We’re just hopeful that things get better and hopefully the job fair is part of that,” said Miller.

Sydney Morgan, currently a junior at Fresno State University, grew up in the sleepy town of Templeton, CA. With Lester Holt and Carrie Bradshaw as her journalist role models, she considers herself to have a more creative approach to her news and entertainment stories.