Local 853 held our first job fair on July 10 in the parking lot of our San Jose office. Over 170 job-seekers attended the event and applied for the numerous driver, warehousing, merchandiser, and manufacturing positions offered by 14 different employers. We were told that this was the first in-person job fair in Silicon Valley since the pandemic started.
The impetus for planning the fair came from several South Bay employers who complained to Business Rep Ray Torres that they couldn’t hire enough people as the post-pandemic economy started opening up. Knowing that these union positions offer good wages and benefits and a voice on the job, Torres thought that a job fair could help turn the tide—both helping our employers and making good jobs available to members who may have been laid-off due to the pandemic and to the community.
Planning for the fair included a publicity campaign that netted stories on KPIX-TV and KQED-Radio. The local reached out to members via email and text both to let laid-off members know about the opportunity to get back into Teamster positions and also to tell friends and family. The Local also reached out to Work 2 Future—the local unemployment/social services office and several unions whose members suffered layoffs and community groups.
A line of job-seekers snaked down the block before the fair even opened at 8 a.m. Once they entered the fair, job-seekers could talk to each employer to learn what positions were available and whether they met the qualifications. Employers reported collecting dozens of resumés and they’ve been interviewing and hiring people they met that day. One Amazon driver came by to check out the union jobs.
The Local is planning a second fair at our Oakland office on August 28. Watch for notices and spread the word far and wide!