It's easy for those of us who are gainfully employed to forget that many people are out of work. Last week's job fair, which attracted as many as 1,000 job seekers, served as that reminder.
More than 20 companies were at the event, with most, if not all, looking to hire workers. Representatives from at least one company left early after running out of job applications. Attendees wanted jobs.
Both blue and white collar jobs were represented. There were technical jobs, medical positions, education facilities and more.
For some job seekers, the fair planted seeds. A recruiter at St. Mary Medical Center, for example, was helping people find information for brand new, exciting — and well-paying — careers. That could mean several more years of schooling, but at least those needing hope could focus on a brighter day.
Was the job fair everything to everybody? Probably not. People weren't jumping up and down shouting, "I've got a job! I've got a job!" Certainly there were some who would begin to see a paycheck come in as a result of the event, but for many it was a part of the process of landing a job. It was an opportunity to connect with resources and to network.
The main sponsor of last week's job fair was the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce. Some are calling for the city to reduce funding to the organization.
While I certainly understand that the city must make tough financial decisions — and cutting chamber funding may be a viable solution — it should be said that the chamber is providing needed services to the city.
Specifically, Hesperia Chamber CEO Yvonne Woytovich has ushered the organization into the 21st century by embracing social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The Chamber web page, under Woytovich's input, has been renovated, and once a month the Chamber shares its news on a page in the Hesperia Star.
Last week's job fair, which several attendees said was better organized than the Chamber's previous event (which was managed by an outside firm), was an example of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce's impact.
Financial realities may put the Chamber in a position where it must generate more income on its own. If that day comes, let's hope it finds a way to succeed so the Chamber can continue to partner with the business community, the city and residents.