Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Colorado Springs job seekers vying for job en force at local job fair

By: Chhun Sun
April 12, 2017 Updated: April 13, 2017 at 6:38 am
0
photo - Add Staff technical recruiter Jen McReady talks with Job seeker Nathan Zaborski Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center Job Fair at Hotel Elegante. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Add Staff technical recruiter Jen McReady talks with Job seeker Nathan Zaborski Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center Job Fair at Hotel Elegante. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

When Kristina Garcia stepped inside the Hotel Eleganté Conference and Event Center, she knew it was a big moment. For the past seven years, she was a stay-at-home mom taking care of her son who has autism.

So, naturally, she felt some jitters when she attended Tuesday's job fair, where more than 1,300 job seekers - including many veterans - arrived hoping to talk to more than 140 employers for 3,000-plus positions.

Garcia managed to get through the event with the help of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Salvador Garcia. He has worked at job fairs before as a Army recruiter and knows that the interaction between job seeker and recruiter can be nerve-wracking for both.

"I'm trying not to go for anything I'm not qualified for," said Kristina Garcia, who worked as an accountant for a field supply company in Texas before she became a stay-at-home mom. "But I also try to put myself out there as much as possible."

There were plenty of opportunities to do just that at the fair hosted by Pikes Peak Workforce Center. To help job applicants prepare for Wednesday, the center since January has conducted more than 90 workshops and information sessions with an additional 110 events at regional libraries, high schools, colleges, trade schools and military installations, among other venues.

The center's training facilitator, Erin Hutchinson, said the workshops helped job seekers prepare a strategy for Tuesday's job fair and develop other techniques, including how to follow-up with employers.

Organizers gave veterans and their spouses special preference, including allowing them to enter the job fair 90 minutes before the general public.

And it wasn't hard for the Workforce Center to get employers - from the tech and health industries to law enforcement and staffing agencies - to participate in the job fair. In a statement, the center's interim executive director, Dennis Hisey, said the event reached employer capacity in "record time."

On Tuesday, employers were engaging with job seekers, spending more than a few minutes talking to possible candidates about their past experiences and going over their resume in person. A strong economy has forced employers to fill positions from a smaller talent pool, Hisey said.

That's why employers are finding more direct and personal way to attract the best employees, said Gary Mustian, director of technical of Add Staff Inc., an employment agency in Colorado Springs. He met a Marine veteran with recruiting experience and said that the veteran could get a job with the agency as soon as this week.

"If I can make an emotional connection with a candidate, I have a better chance to retain that candidate and I won't lose them to the person down the street," he said. "Corporations have to do the same thing. They say, 'Can we bring back social events to connect someone emotionally to the job that they're in?' "

The next events in the spring job fair series will take place in Teller County - 1 to 4 p.m. April 25 at the Woodland Park Ute Cultural Center and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26 at the Cripple Creek Aspen Mine Center.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.