Standing apart from the crowd on a crowded shopping mall sidewalk at Legends, Kailene Salazar scopes out her future. As she told us, "I've applied at many places, but it's mainly warehouses and retail."
Kailene has been through this all before…interviews and internet sites and handing out résumés to anyone. She's lost out on every opening for 9 months now. "They don't really give me a reason. They say, 'OK, we'll call you back if we're interested.' And I haven't gotten a call back."
Close to100 were waiting to apply when the doors opened for the job fair at 9am. Legends general manager Dennis McGovern added, "It's been consistent all morning. There's been a line of people waiting for the interviews after they get in."
One of them is Chris Horner. He tells us he's been to many job fairs, and says it's busy like this everywhere. "I went to one before at the Atlantis, and there were thousands of people there for maybe 30, 40 jobs."
Chris lost his job when his employer shut down. This former landscaper is applying to work at TJ Maxx. "I'm just trying to find anything, you know, right now. And it's hard."
Walter Saunders of Reno has been unemployed and waiting for a year and a half. His unemployment benefits have run out. His view? "It seems a lot of places take applications but not many are hiring." When he hears people say that things are getting better, what does he say to that? "Well, they say it. I don't see it too much here in Nevada."
Besides the holiday hiring, companies are taking a wait-and-see attitude until the election's over and they see where the economy goes. From the job lines, it seems recovery is still in the slow lane. Walter…Chris…and Kailene, who has 2 kids at home, are hopeful. Their hopes are what keeps them going. As Kailene told us, "Like I say, you've got to stay optimistic. Because, you know, if you don't, that's when everything falls."
Thousands of people in Reno and Sparks are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Seasonal jobs will allow many to stay afloat financially. But what the area needs are new businesses, and stores like TJ Maxx in Sparks.
-written by John Potter
The TJ Maxx job fair will be open for 2 more days, as they look to hire up to 100 retail employees. You can come by to fill out an application and bring a resume if you have one, Friday 9am to 7pm, and Saturday 9am to 3pm, in the job fair offices just west of Scheels.