Happy Rainy Monday Morning, Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce Members!
This is our first ever blog post on our website - and we are so excited to start utilizing it as a newsletter update for our membership!
A few weeks ago, after the Williamson Dickies Manufacturing Co. Uvalde Plant closure announcement, I had a meeting with City of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, and we decided it was a great time to implement a Job Fair for our community. Between him and City Manager Vince DiPiazza, they decided to make it a City sanctioned event, and kindly offered the use of the SSGT. Willie De Leon Civic Center.
There was only one available Saturday on the Civic Center calendar (September 8th) and that was only three short planning weeks away, so we had to act fast!
It made sense to ensure we were utilizing and connecting with all of our community resources on this event, such as our two wonderful universities, and our Middle Rio Grande Workforce Solutions (MRGWS). Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director, Richard Rogers, and Director of Workforce Solutions Systems, Ronnie Rivera, were very excited to hear about the upcoming event and how they could incorporate any of their services on the day.
Shortly afterwards, we launched the event by creating the webpage: www.uvalde.org/jobfair, creating the poster and application, and publishing the facebook event. Soon, we had Chamber Members signing up their free booths with their job openings, and we were so excited!
- EVENT DAY -
At 6:00am, I was out the door and on the way to Wal-Mart for some last minute event supplies, and by 7:30am our booths started setting up.
We had a total of 19 different booths, with 13 being employers, representing 40 different job types, and over 80 open positions. 6 booths were Education Opportunities or Employment Support, and MRGWS had a 9-computer-station "Cyber Café" for résumé drafting support and registering with unemployment services. Southwest Texas Junior Collegehad two representatives from the Student Success Center throughout the event to also help with any drafting and technical questions. On the Wednesday preceding the event day, Melissa Alejandro, representing both SWTJC's Student Success Center and the Leadership Uvalde Ambassadors, helped host a Résumé Building Workshop at the El Progreso Memorial Library. Quality Print Solutions brought a table-top Xerox copier for complimentary event use by both participants and employers throughout the day. DJ and Sound Production was done by Mario Rangel with MC Productions. H-E-B Grocery Co. donated a portion of the breakfast and lunch platters from their bakery and deli, and Vulcan Materials Co. donated 5 cases of bottled water.
For all of this, we are thankful!
Thank you so much to all of our supportive donors!
It steadily poured down rain the entire morning, and slowly but surely, we received reports of flooded roads being closed all around town. Even with the weather, we had 74 job-seeking event attendees during the event! Several employers found potential candidates, and we had excellent feedback from both employers and job-seekers about the event being a help to them.
We may make this event an annual occurrence - and if so, late July due to the normal transfer of employment and new-comers to town before the school year starts, may be a better date for implementation.
What are your thoughts, members?? Let us know!