Several hundred job applicants lined the sidewalk in front of 257 S. Maine St. on Friday morning before a five-hour employment fair opened its doors and greeted prospective job seekers.
Once inside, the applicants then presented their resumes and talked to representatives from more than 20 businesses.
Sponsored by the Churchill Economic Development Authority and Fallon Chamber of Commerce, the job fair evolved into a meaningful experience.
“The businesses are impressed with the quality of applicants and people showing up,” said Kim Klenakis, CEDA’s project coordinator, who also thanked the Fallon Auto Mall for making the fair happen.
Klenakis said she received feedback from applicants hoping the job fair could be a quarterly event.
“We have a very diverse group of businesses here … from the base, the community, but no one outside Churchill County.”
The human resource-community director for Naval Air Station Fallon’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) said the job fair is great.
“I have received resumes, and this has been more successful than what I thought it would be,” said Rhonda Doyle.
Doyle, like other interviewers, saw a steady stream of applicants coming to her table to talk about MWR openings in Fleet and Family, Child Development Center, recreation, billeting and food services.
Tim Mitchell from Fallon Auto Mall echoed the sentiments of others.
“We have had a lot of very qualified applicants,” said Mitchell, the auto dealer’s general manager.
Mitchell, though, said he is seeing a disconnect between employees looking for work and wondering what opportunities are available in Fallon.
“Any business is always looking for good people. We have a need,” Mitchell pointed out. “We have spots to fill...”
Helen Shaw, human resource director for the Dairy Farmers of America milk plant southeast of Fallon, said the 24/7 operation always needs employees. Currently, the plant seeks applicants in maintenance, operators and wastewater.
“We have had quite a few applicants,” she said. “I am impressed with the amount of people and quality of applicants wanting to work.”
Across the Fallon Auto Mall’s station was “Close to My Heart,” a company that hires independent consultants who specialize in craft supplies.
Melissa Fecht, whose family stayed in Fallon after her husband retired from the Navy, said there is a need for independent contractors in the area since the last craft store closed in Fallon more than a year ago.
Likewise, job applicants said the company representatives have been very friendly and helpful.
Micaiah Saling, a freshman at Western Nevada College Fallon, said she is looking for a part-time job.
“I actually have an interview, and that’s exciting,” she said. “I think I have quite a few job leads.”
She said the job fair is also good because job seekers can directly give their resumes to representatives and meet them.
“We need to do more of these fairs,” she added.
Angela Hodges spent the morning seeking employment in the customer service field and visited most of the tables.
“They (interviewers) told me I am pretty employable,” she said. “I am looking for full time, and so far, I have a few leads.”
Donny Thompson, who graduated from Churchill County High School in 2006, left the Fallon area but has returned.
He likes the concept of the local job fair, wishing it could be held more frequently.
Even for a first-time event, employers were busy. Janess Business Services handed out 35 applications, and most job seekers had resumes in hand,” said owner Mike Janess.
According to Janess, firms are always developing new programs, but they always experience turnover. Janess said he credits the posters around town and the ads and stories in the newspaper as being effective in attracting job seekers to the Friday job fair.
“We’re set up for 10 interviews,” added Billy Thompson, managing director for Janess.