YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

5,000 Hopefuls Expected at East L.A. Job Fair


Centro Maravilla will hold its fourth annual job fair Sept. 25, and officials expect 5,000 job-seekers, in part because of the depressed economy.

Although the countywide unemployment rate is 9.6%, the jobless rate in East Los Angeles is about 14%, said Geraldo Rodriguez, the center's executive director.

"The reason we started this job fair is so that whatever is available, we want to make it available to the Eastside and let people on the Eastside be competitive with everyone else," Rodriguez said. "What we've tried to create is a job fair in our own back yard, where employers will take off their ties, roll up their sleeves and be more approachable. We want to make it comfortable for people and make it festive."

The job fair last year attracted 3,000 people who met with about 40 employers from the Eastside. The event also will offer workshops on preparing a resume, approaching potential employers, changing careers and creating a portfolio of examples of previous work.

Another workshop will explain the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to make their workplaces accessible to the disabled.

Rodriguez urges job-seekers to bring several copies of their resumes or a generic job application form that has been filled out beforehand.

Because of the nature of job fairs, he said, most employers do not offer jobs on the spot but keep resumes and applications for future reference.

"They do selective outreach to people they have in their file, so if you don't go to the job fair, you may be missing out on the opportunity for a job," Rodriguez said.

The free event, made possible with donations of money and services from several companies, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. People seeking jobs do not have to sign up beforehand.

At past job fairs, most people have showed up early in the morning, creating a glut at the beginning of the event. Rodriguez asked that job-seekers visit throughout the day. Centro Maravilla is at 4716 E. Brooklyn Ave.

Information: (213) 260-2804.

Los Angeles Times Articles