A job fair hosted Thursday by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) had twice the number of vendors than the same event last year, as out-of-work residents and thinly stretched business owners tried to get as many leads as possible.
About 70 companies, including the Walt Disney Co. and DreamWorks, government agencies and colleges took part in this year’s Federal Fair at Glendale Pacific Community Center. It was designed to let people who are looking for work and small business owners who are trying to stay afloat connect with governmental resources available to them.
Schiff was asked by a participant if the event would become an annual gathering. “I hope not,” he replied.
“This has been the most difficult period with our economy since the Depression,” Schiff told the crowd. “This, too, will pass.”
For the U.S. economy to regain its strength, Schiff said, the nation needs a first-rate education system and motivation for businesses to manufacture stateside. It also needs to encourage entrepreneurship, he said.
In addition to the movie studios, Boeing, the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection also participated.
Steve Tristan, owner of JT Blinds in San Fernando, said he attended to learn about possible funding from the Small Business Administration for a new window covering that can be recycled.
“The plastics that go into vertical blinds today cannot be recycled in a normal recycling center,” Tristan said.
Others used the event to network and scope out job possibilities.
“There are many opportunities here,” said Glendale resident Lorita Noubarentz, a counselor who has been looking for a job since January 2010.
Her friend, Monique Carroll, an event planner who has been looking for full-time work for about a year, said it was good to talk to someone one-on-one instead of dealing with a company website.
“You get firsthand knowledge about where to look for those specific [jobs],” said Carroll, a Pasadena resident.
Both women took part in a program called L.A. Fellows, where unemployed workers can volunteer at a nonprofit organization to gain experience and training.
Paralegal David Angel, who has been searching for a job for three weeks, said he knew the event was a success even before he walked through the door.
“I couldn’t find a parking spot,” he said.