The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

One-stop shop for job seekers


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Apple One was one of several employment agencies at the event.

The Kern County Department of Human Services held a Job Fest in Shafter last Thursday morning, the fourth in a series of events held throughout the year, culminating with the year-end event that attracts over 100 employers held at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

In Shafter, there were over 60 employers on hand for hundreds of job seekers who arrived, looking for a chance to get hired. A mix of employers made it possible for applicants in a large variety of fields to look for employment. Among the companies participating were temp services such as Volt Staffing, Continental Labor, United Staffing and Exact Staff. There also were a number of local companies in the medical field, including Omni Health, Clinica Sierra Vista, Kern Health Systems, and the from the food industry, including Panda Express, Dennys, Subway and Starbucks.

The event was held at the Shafter Youth Center at Community Action Partnership of Kern headquarters in Shafter, replacing the Shafter Veterans Hall this year. According to Angie Nelson, CAPK's Shafter director, the venue was better suited for the KCDHS event, with all of the employers able to be housed in one building. It also afforded companies who were doing on- the-spot interviews a room to use and a computer lab for those job seekers who were able to work on a resume or apply for jobs online.

Josh Conner, a job developer with the Kern County Department of Human Services, said that the venue was perfect for the event. "There was even a designated section for those job seekers who needed to fill out applications," he noted.

The event drew over 300 people with experience in a variety of different fields. Several of the companies were interviewing applicants at the event, and a few were offering positions after those interviews.

According to Conner, "One of the requirements for employers to participate in our Job Fests are that the companies must have open positions at the time of the events. So, every company here has the potential of finding employees at the event."

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Vanessa Barton of Fastrip Food Stores manned their booth while applicants were being interviewed.

One of those companies was Fastrip Stores. District Manager Ron Jonas said that they were interviewing applicants on the spot. "If they are willing to wait for an interview, we are talking to everyone who turns in an application. We like the face-to-face process, instead of making calls after the fact. We have had great luck with these job fair events, getting many applicants and the chance to meet them face to face as they turn in their applications."

Last year's event saw 35 new hires receiving employment. Conner said that they are hoping for even more hires this year. Job seekers from a variety of fields were there and no matter their field, the majority of the applicants found employers in their field. "I am looking for work in an office, and there are plenty of companies that I have got leads from," said Maribel Fuentes, who is entering the job market again after being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. "I recently got divorced and am having to get back to work to help raise my two sons. It is hard getting back out there, but job fairs like this are a big help, with so many companies here at one place."


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