Job Fair Hopes To Connect People With Area Employers

May 2, 2012



(LAS CRUCES) -- Finding a job or a better paying position seems to be on the minds of many people.  A job fair scheduled for later this week hopes to bring employers and future workers together. Nina Apodaca moved to Las Cruces back in January for family reasons and continues to struggle to find work. “If it wasn’t for my boys, I have a son, I have two sons here, and they’ve been helping me out with rent, food and whatever they can,” she said. Apodaca visits the New Mexico Workforce Connection at least four times a week.  She is sending off cover letters and resumes to every job possible. “Full-Time, Part-Time, Whatever,” she said. Although, she seems to have all the skills necessary, Apodaca still can't find a job and that's a trend Workforce Connection site manager, Richard Wagner says isn't improving fast enough. “There are employers that are running with minimal staff and seeing that they are able to do it and even though they have the funds or money to hire other people, they’re not doing it because it seems like there’s a waiting list right now and employers I have spoken to are waiting to see if the economy gets better before continuing to hire someone on a permanent basis,” said Wagner. The frustration level among people looking for work is high.  Leaders with the Workforce agency say the pay is not great in this area, compared to other parts of the country.  Plus, there still isn't many jobs to go around. “When we were back in 2004, 2005 when we were at our peak, our unemployment rate was less than five percent.  We’re at 8 percent now and that doesn’t include individuals that have exhausted their benefits so realistically we’ll probably only be at 10 percent,” she said. Together with the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses, congressman Steve Pearce is co-hosting a job fair at the Las Cruces Convention Center this Friday 8-1pm.  The congressman hopes it will help connect workers with potential employers.