City also hosted hiring event for parks and rec maintenance crews this week

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FARMINGTON — Local and regional employers and Four Corners job seekers turned out in force to share and explore job opportunities during the 2018 Community Job Fair and Veterans Awareness Fair on Friday at San Juan College.

Approximately 60 companies hosted booths at the fair, which was open to the public, according to event organizer Jill Bishop, coordinator for the college’s Center for Student Careers and Employment. Several major employers in the region participated, including the cities of Aztec and Farmington, Navajo Agriculture Products Industry, and local hospitals and school districts.

Some 325 job seekers attended the event to learn more about full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs in the region, Bishop said.

The event, which was co-hosted by the college’s Veterans Center, also featured a variety of veterans’ resources group, Veterans Center Coordinator David Drake said.

Bishop said the annual event has been ongoing for at least five years and has partnered with the Veterans Center for the past two years. She said the college strategically times the job fair in the weeks leading up to the end of the semester and graduation.

“The timing is definitely for our graduates that will be graduating in May,” Bishop said. “Hopefully they’ve already started thinking about jobs, but sometimes they don’t do that, so (this event) really kind of puts it at the forefront of their minds.”

Jeffery Beckwith, a San Juan College student and U.S. Army veteran who is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in environmental health and safety in December, said he’s attended the event several times over the past few years and noticed that this year’s fair had a healthier attendance than years past.

“This one is a little more crowded than the last few that they had when there was no work going on,” Beckwith said.

Employers, including Process Equipment and Service Co. Welding Trainer Brian Smith, agreed, especially as trends show the oil industry gaining momentum over the past year.

“We need full-time employees, and we are steadily looking for them,” Smith said, adding that he would be traveling to Albuquerque and Santa Fe to recruit welders in the coming weeks.

The fair’s attendees weren’t the only ones looking to hire or be hired in San Juan County this week.

The City of Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department hosted a hiring event on Thursday at the PRCA Department Warehouse in Farmington. PRCA Department Director Cory Styron said Thursday’s was the second spring hiring event the department had hosted — the first was held in early April.

“The jobs (available) today are seasonal maintenance positions,” Styron said Thursday in an email. “We also hire additional lifeguards and recreation staff for summer programs. We are looking for lifeguards right now.”

Styron said the department hired a dozen maintenance workers on Thursday for jobs that last through the summer and into the fall, depending on need and weather conditions.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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