STOCKTON, CA – Hundreds of young men and women ready to enter the labor market visited San Joaquin County WorkNet, on Thursday, May 10th ; as WorkNet held the first “Summer Jobs Fair for Youth” at its Stockton, Tracy, Manteca and Lodi centers.
“If our youth have employment opportunities they have the opportunity to do some career exploration and have access to mentors that can help them develop those critical skills needed for future employment ,” said John Solis, Executive Director of San Joaquin County WorkNet.
“We have too many youth and not enough jobs; usually youth unemployment is three times higher when compared to adults,” said Solis.
The current San Joaquin County’s unemployment rate is of 16.7 percent, and according to Solis it is estimated that the youth will reach a 50% unemployment rate in the county.
Over 200 students attended the fair by the second hour; students like the 20-year old San Joaquin Delta student, Ricardo Carrillo who is looking for a summer job.
Carrillo also had the opportunity to attend a “Job Preparedness Workshop” which broadened his awareness of the labor market, employer expectations, as well as job search, resume and interview techniques.
“We want to encourage the employer community to create opportunities for the youth and give them a part time job or an internship,” continued Solis, “help them develop a work ethic and a sense of responsibility.”
“We have a total of over fifteen employer booths,” said Patty Virgen, Client Services Division Manager of Worknet. “It is possible for some students to walk out with a job today,” added Virgen.
Partnering in the Summer Jobs Faire were Work Start, CalWorks SYETP, EDD’s Youth Employment Opportunities program, and the Hire Met First Program.
This program helps with the social well being of the students, keeps them out of trouble and provides benefits such as dependable youth employment and economic stability, explained Solis.