Job fair benefits employers, applicants

Shawn Byrne

Sun Editor/Photographer

When Linda Gerard attended her first Workforce Development Job Fair in Wickenburg, she experienced what many others have when approaching prospective employers about an opportunity.

“I was nervous when I went to my first one,” Gerard said. “They have a wide range of employers. They’re really nice. Very helpful and everyone is friendly. They’re just looking for good employees.”

It’s understandable that it can be intimidating for someone who is looking for a job to enter a large room filled with employers. Julie Huston, Town of Wickenburg workforce development coordinator in conjunction with Maricopa County, is there with a cool, calm, and professional manner to make the experience better for both job applicants and employers.

“Julie greets you, makes you feel comfortable and is open to giving advice,” Gerard said. “She checks on people and never stops. The job fairs are wonderful.”

The job fairs held in Wickenburg also benefit the employers who set up a table to recruit new employees with the talent they’re looking for. Home Instead Senior Care has been at each job fair under Huston’s direction over the past three years, and the job fairs have provided the company with a steady stream of possible new hires. Home Instead’s offices are in Surprise, but the company hires Wickenburg residents to provide care for its Wickenburg clients. The job fairs help Home Instead engage in the Wickenburg community, which the company finds beneficial for the recruitment of employees and clients.

“I would give the job fairs a ringing endorsement,” said Brian Huebner, owner of the Home Instead franchise in Surprise. “We’ve had a great experience with it. It’s effective attracting talent, and they’re spread out at a nice pace throughout the year.”

Along with Home Instead, nine other employers have signed up for the job fair from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the community center, 160 N. Valentine St. Those employers include Adelante Healthcare, ADOT, Wickenburg Community Services Corporation, Freeport-McMoRan, Castle Hot Springs, EDU Staff, Arby’s, U.S. Census 2020, and Town of Wickenburg.

These employers will be offering job opportunities in mining, government, health care, hospitality, education and community services.

“Typically, I have 40 to 60 percent hired of the people who attend the job fairs,” Huston said. “About six to 10 are hired on the spot. The employers who participate have a need to hire.”

Maricopa County and the Town of Wickenburg combine to fund Huston’s position. The Town pays half of her salary and is an investment into the community for both employers and residents.

“Workforce is one of the big sectors the Town focuses on,” Huston said. “Employers need assistance to find the right talent, and people need the assistance to find a job. It’s a huge benefit to our community.”

Wickenburg’s workforce development program is dedicated to meeting the talent requirements of employers and is eager to respond to the needs of employers. More than just job fairs, workforce development offers the posting of open positions into a statewide database, prescreening candidates and providing conference and interview space. Workforce development also offers individual employer job fairs.

For those wishing to find a place to volunteer, and organizations in need of volunteers are also welcome.

For more information, call Huston at 928-668-0540 or email Julie.huston@maricopa.gov.

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