Merced County Times Newspaper
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Beverly Barela

Rise To Success Job Fair confronts unemployment woes

A job fair attendee receives pointers on how to improve her resume from WorkNet staff members.
A job fair attendee receives pointers on how to improve her resume from WorkNet staff members.

The first-ever Rise to Success Job Fair took place at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center in Merced on the afternoon and evening of March 27. Recruiters shared information on current local jobs openings.

“We are putting it on because at the inauguration when I became president in January, there was a town hall meeting and the community decided its three main concerns were education, unemployment and health awareness,” said Allen Brooks, president of the local NAACP. “This is how we’re tackling unemployment. … From January to now, we’ve had movie nights and Theater with Friends at Playhouse Merced, and we’re trying to keep the momentum going and let the community see we really care.”

The message was being received because according to Brooks, over 70 people registered to attend on the website.

Those interested in employment learned about job opportunities and educational opportunities by talking to the recruiters representing local employers and others.

Robin Hardin, Recruiting Assistant for United States Census 2020, said, “The 2020 Census is going to hire several thousand people by May. The requirements are that you speak English, have a car, and be a U.S. citizen. The job pays $16.50 per hour, and we’ll train you on how to do it. You start in May with address verification, and after that, door-to-door. You ask seven questions like how many people live there, their names and ages, and which race they identify with. It’ll end in August or September 2020.”

He continued, “It’s not high pressure. It’s fun work, and it’s easy. You can wear jeans. You can work the hours you want. It’s not permanent work, but if you apply right now, you will be hired.”

Hardin explained that the job includes 40 hours of training.

He exclaimed, “For driving to and from class, you’re on the clock and get 58 cents per mile!”

Hardin mentioned that those interested could apply online at

UC Merced was another employer with current openings. The big push at the job fair was hiring for 13 positions — 10 custodians, a groundskeeper, a groundskeeper supervisor, and a moving and events laborer — for the new 2020 building of classrooms which will open in June.

There were also 37 positions open on the UC Merced website.

For employment with the City of Merced, a Job Interest Card Guide was available at the job fair which contained information about how to apply by going online to: and selecting the City Jobs link and then the Job Interest Card link.

Castle Family Health Centers, which recently showcased to the public a newly constructed clinic in Winton, displayed openings for the positions of  physician, dentist, X-ray/Mammography Technician and Medical Assistant.

Merced County was another employer which displayed job openings in many areas, including the Probation Department.

Balanced Staffing was represented at the job fair, offering information on the business’ new office which opened at 1114 Olivewood in Merced. The business helps those interested in employment apply for jobs in light industrial, packaging, sorting, warehouse work, shipping and receiving, but does not handle medical or trucking jobs.

Infinity Staffing was another employment agency represented at the job fair.

At the event, attendees could receive pointers from Worknet as to how to improve their resumes, and could find out about workshop and training opportunities.

Gateway Adult Education Network was an additional resource for training, and partners with Merced County Office of Education and the Human Services Agency. It offers training in green technology, computer and office technology, and classes in citizenship, ESL and GED.

Other employers represented at the fair were Merced County Office of Education and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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