The Latino Task Force hosted a job fair within their resource hub at 701 Alabama St. Friday, drawing hundreds of applicants.
For months, Ruth Barajas has watched the unemployed come to the Latino Task Force’s hub on Alabama Street to seek help, but on Friday afternoon, she opened up the venue to a job fair and watched as many applied for work.
“We have seen [at the resource hub] is that unemployment is a huge issue,” said Ruth Barajas, an organizer for the Latino Task Force. “Now that we’re on the other side of recovery and we’re seeing more opportunities arise, we wanted to make sure we provided the exposure and those opportunities to the people we’ve been serving over the past year.”
Over 200 residents registered for the event, Barajas said, and others showed up without registering but were still allowed entrance. Roughly 20 employers were present at the event.
Jorge Moreno first found out about the career fair after visiting the resource hub to get assistance doing his taxes.
Moreno, who is most interested in restaurant and barista work, came to the fair dressed in a crisp black jacket, blue button-down and khakis, in the hope of finding a job.
“There’s basically been a drought, a drought of work,” Moreno said of the past year.
The barista took a vacation from his restaurant job last March, and by the time he came back, the shelter in place order had been implemented and he was out of work.
Munkhtuul Tuvshinbayar stopped working in early 2020, in part thanks to the pandemic, but also because she was pregnant.
Now that Tuvshinbayar’s son is seven months old, she decided to come to the job fair in the hope of finding work.
“I’m kind of hoping I’ll maybe get some bank or something,” Tuvshinbayar said.
While she did not see any banks at the event, a few retail positions caught her eye.
“I’m just going to try to email most of them and see what happens,” Tuvshinbayar said.
Employers at the event came from a range of industries, including restaurants like Señor Sisig, retail chains like Goodwill, and nonprofit organizations like MEDA.
Joseph Uribe, a site coordinator for Bay Area Community Resources, has been working with the nonprofit for more than 11 years, and started in the same program leader position that he is now speaking to applicants about.
“I always wanted to find the right nonprofit that is actually there for the community and isn’t just there for the name,” Uribe said, “I tell people I get paid in smiles and memories.”
Uribe said he knew almost immediately after starting with Bay Area Community Resources that he wanted to make the work his career, and hopes to find applicants that will enjoy the job just as much.