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  • Joint Pima County-City of Tucson employment fair attracts 700 job-seekers

    Jan 13, 2022 | Read More News
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    By Martin Rosales
    Pima County Communications

    About 700 job-seekers attended a joint Pima County and City of Tucson employment fair held Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Kino Event Center. The turnout pleased county and city organizers as they attempt to fill hundreds of local government positions amid low unemployment and a tight labor market across the country.

    Throughout the day Tuesday a steady flow of job-seekers made their way into and out of the event joint job faircenter. Some were unemployed and seeking to rejoin the workforce, but many more were people who already have jobs and were looking for something better.

    For example, Jesus Fierros, 46, is employed in a field that doesn’t make use of his degree in business. He went to the job fair to pursue a career in business administration or human resources.

    “I’m looking for a better opportunity where I can make more money and utilize my degree,” Fierros said. “I saw a few jobs here that I might be interested in.”

    Rochelle Romero, 33, is looking to restart a marketing career that was interrupted by the pandemic. She said she applied for a county position as a human resources coordinator.

    Brooke Carley, 26, is unemployed and said she would apply for openings in the medical field.

    John Rose, 70, is retired wants a job to supplement his retirement income.

    “I just came out to see what’s available,” Rose said. “I want to start a second career, kind of. I found some things that interest me, I just need to investigate those jobs a little more.”

    Derrick Evans, 52, is looking for a change. He has a background in transportation and was looking at jobs offered by the Tucson and County’s transportation departments.

    “I’m currently employed but I’m just looking for something different,” Evans said. “I’m retired military, so I don’t have to be the boss. I’m just looking for something to keep me busy.”

    The city and county have collaborated on job fairs before, but it has been several years since they held a joint event due to COVID-19, said Dustin Green, a Pima County division manager for recruitment and selection.

    “There was some anxiety about how well the job fair would go, but it was good to see the amount of interest that there was and the types of people who came in,” Green said. “I know that we filled several jobs today. It’s been good.”

    Sandra Zurbrick, a human resources manager with the City of Tucson, was also pleased with the event.

    “I think it was a great turnout. I was expecting about 200 to 300 people, but I know we got much more than that,” Zurbrick said. “It was a great event and we would definitely do it again.”

    The city and county both have an urgent need for workers. Green said Pima County is advertising for about 250 jobs but has closer to 400 job openings across its workforce of about 6,800.

    Meanwhile, the Arizona Daily Star reported in December than the city has a workforce of about 3,900 and a vacancy rate of 13%, which translates to about 500 job openings.

    However, with unemployment at 3.9% nationally and 3.2% in Pima County, local governments are competing against the private sector for scarce workers.

    Green said the city and county plan to hold joint job fairs on a quarterly basis this year in an attempt to bolster their respective workforces.

    “What we’re really looking for here is to increase the number of applications for county openings. Applications are what leads to interviews,” Green said. “If we keep doing this, over time the number of job openings we have will hopefully start to diminish. That’s the goal.”

    Green said that over the last year the county saw a decline of about 200 in its workforce.

    “Given the size of our workforce, that’s not terrible, but it’s not great,” Green said.

    “We have to communicate to job-seekers that we have opportunities — from cook to doctor and everything in between. I don’t think people realize that. We really do everything here and there’s a job for everyone.”