Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2017

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Career fair draws thousands for CityCenter, other jobs

Out-of-work residents comb through jobs as valley’s unemployment rate increases


Justin M. Bowen

Keona Everage, right, and Sonya James fill out applications Tuesday during the Opportunity Boulevard Summer Career Fair at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson.

Opportunity Boulevard Career Fair

Thousands of job seekers came out Tuesday for the Opportunity Boulevard Summer Career Fair at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. Launch slideshow »

Thousands of job seekers converged on Green Valley Ranch Resort Tuesday afternoon for a chance at one of 14,000 job openings represented at the Opportunity Boulevard Summer Career Fair.

Event organizers said the majority -- about 12,500 -- of the jobs were at CityCenter, but the other 50 companies and schools that registered to take part represented a broad offering to job seekers.

Organizers estimated more than 5,000 people attended the job fair. The fair was organized in part by the Las Vegas Sun, Recruiting Nevada and In Business Las Vegas, which are part of the Greenspun Corporation. Green Valley Ranch Resort is a joint venture of Station Casinos and the Greenspun family.

With unemployment hovering above 10 percent in Clark County, organizers said they took a multi-faceted approach to try to help job seekers by bringing in career counselors from AARP and offering a number of seminars, ranging from resume preparation to landing a job at CityCenter to re-entering the workforce for stay-at-home moms.

"We need to appeal to every job seeker out there," said Doug Geinzer, job fair organizer and director of online classified advertising for Recruiting Nevada. "We need to make sure that we have a diverse offering of employers so that there's a potential job for everybody that walks through the door. We need to get folks back to work."

CityCenter, which made its first physical recruitment appearance at the Opportunity Boulevard Winter Career Fair in January, was on-hand again, and like in January, the employer and its 12,000-plus jobs drew long lines.

In January, CityCenter recruiters said they expected 100,000 applications for those 12,500 jobs; the resort has since surpassed 120,000 applications.

Recruiters said job offers will not be made until late summer or early fall, so all 12,500 jobs are still in play and the resort is still actively recruiting, particularly in the areas of food and beverage service and housekeeping.

"We need candidates with the attitude and the aptitude to take CityCenter to a whole new level of customer service," CityCenter recruiting manager Nichole Washington said.

Washington said meeting with potential employees and seeing the impact that the project could have on their lives and on the local economy gave her a different perspective on CityCenter.

"It's a rewarding experience," she said. "I've never seen anything like this, and I've worked on the Strip for a long time."

One of the hundreds of people to make their way through the CityCenter line was Curt Frazier, an out-of-work accountant who was laid off from the Venetian a few months ago.

Frazier said he has been sending out resumes on a daily basis and worries that his age and experience may work against him in a competitive market, which he said may cause employers to look at younger workers who they think will work for less — an assumption that isn't true, he said.

Still, Frazier said, he remains optimistic.

"As long as you keep putting your name out there, eventually, something will happen," he said.

Frazier said he's broadened his search and has applied with the state to be an assistant park ranger at Lake Mead. After setting up an interview at CityCenter, he said even if he can't land an accounting job, he's willing to be flexible.

"(Another position) may not pay as much, but at least it's something," he said.

Other job seekers at the fair visited with career schools that were on-site to recruit those interested in acquiring new skills.

Alyssa Deline, who was laid off a week before the fair, spoke with recruiters from the Henderson campus of the International Academy of Design and Technology between visits with potential employers. She has some college credits, and said now seems like a good time to go back to school -- but she has to find a way to afford it first.

"I want to find a job, but I definitely want to go back to school," she said. "I just want to go after my own dreams and do my own thing."

Preston Hamilton, a recruiter at the academy, said he's seen a bump in enrollment as the economy has soured.

"I think people are aware, now that jobs are low out there, that they need to be retrained so that when the economy comes back and the jobs are out there, they'll have the training they need to get them," he said.

The biggest challenge he's seen, Hamilton said, is that many out-of-work people he meets are too worried about how they'll pay for school when they don't have a job. He said he understands the difficult nature of the decision, but said that now, more than ever, schooling should be viewed as an investment.

"What's the best investment? An investment in yourself," Hamilton said. "Find something that you're passionate about and go at it."

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