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‘Fast-tracked’ job opportunities bring thousands to Spring Job Fair

Updated March 11, 2024 - 6:51 pm

Nearly 4,000 job seekers and Southern Nevada employers met Friday at a hiring event where a quarter of the state’s open positions were on display.

Clark County’s annual Spring Job Fair brought 136 employers to Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall to get an immediate face-to-face connection with applicants. Some were interviewing on-site, such as hospitality companies Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Fontainebleau, and giving conditional on-the-spot offers.

Ed Barans moved from Phoenix on Sunday to be closer to family. A retired General Motors employee, he came to the job fair to start a second career.

“I don’t even know what’s available,” Barans said. “All these companies I didn’t even know existed. It seems like there’s a variety of opportunities, and in Phoenix, there was very little.”

More than 20,000 positions were advertised at the event — a reflection of the current employment situation in Nevada. The state has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and the highest job growth rate.

State officials said this week that the dichotomy reflected the changing labor pool compared with other post-pandemic years. People looking for work in Nevada in recent months have been unemployed for less time or are new to the state, David Schmidt, the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s chief economist, said at a Monday news conference.

Most employers were using the job fair as way to fast-track a candidate’s hiring, Monica Corral, a call center manager for Pro Cap Laboratories, said. The vitamin and supplement manufacturer based in Henderson was hiring for manufacturing, warehousing, call center and temporary jobs.

“Because I’m a hiring manager, if I do see someone that is really a good fit for the position, I’m able to push them through the process a little faster, versus them applying on the website,” Corral said at the fair.

Job seekers and employers both agreed the fair was the best to cut through the hurdle of online applications. Zaria White, a Las Vegas resident with data analytics and video production experience, said she has been at her current job for three years but was at the job fair for a part-time job or a full-time job where she could earn more.

White said she has applied to dozens of jobs through LinkedIn, but hears back from few. It was reassuring to see your resume reviewed while in front of a hiring manager at the fair, she said.

“If you’re applying online, they want cover letters, they want a resume, they want a portfolio,” White said. “I’m scrambling to get all these things together, and I still get filtered out. There is a disconnect.”

County Commissioners Jim Gibson and Tick Segerblom helped put on the event with EmployNV Business Hub. They said that previous years have been about responding to the swings of employment and activity after pandemic lockdowns.

“But today it’s more about people right-sizing their employment, right-sizing their paycheck, and there are opportunities for people to step up,” Gibson said.

EmployNV Business Hub will also host a virtual hiring event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Thursday. Interested applicants can register online.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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