Job fair draws 1600 hopefuls
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Hope for a better life, and a better job market came together Friday at Tucson's El Rio Education Center.
There, Congressman Raul Grijalva and Goodwill Industries hosted a job fair with a huge turnout.
More than 16 hundred people flooded into the El Rio center ready to see if the economy's bounced back enough to score them a job.
Melanie Huggins said, "It's easy for me to find a job. It's just hard to keep it because they're always either downsizing or they're going out of business."
Priscilla Lopez was upbeat: "I'm giving everything a shot so hopefully I walk out of here with something."
Lopez is banking on her customer service experience and her studies to work in medical billing.
Congressman Raul Grijalva's office teamed with Goodwill Industries to bring in more than 40 employers. They employers attracted more than 16 hundred job seekers.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Congressman Grijalva: "Are the jobs that are out there, good, high paying jobs people want or are they get-you-by jobs until something better comes along?"
Congressman Grijalva: "I think there's get-you-by jobs there right now. I think the long term investment by industry isn't there yet. But it's kind of a Catch-22 with jobs. The State of Texas has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The State of Texas has the lowest wages in the country. That's a Catch-22. You need jobs; but you need jobs that will sustain people."
Organizers say the job market really is heating up mainly in customer service, hospitality and truck driver slots.
Abdul Arzani has been meeting employers to open doors for his students at PPEP Tec High Schools. He teaches new job seekers, they need an old fashioned work ethic.
"A lot of kids don't go to work and they don't show up for work. A lot of kids today, they're not like from your generation and my generation, when you go to work you take pride of the work."
The latest employment forecast from the state predicts the Phoenix area will be Arizona's employment hot spot with 2.5 percent growth in 2013. Tucson employment should grow but not as well---it's predicted at one percent.
State of Arizona employment analysts predict construction, leisure and hospitality, will be the biggest growth areas but a lot of it is not as much true growth as it is a matter of getting back to how things were before big job losses in 2008 to 2010.