JobFest provides employment opportunities for Bakersfield locals


Jenny Brito

People in attendance fill out applications at the Job Fest

Jenny Brito, Web & Social Media Editor

The Annual Bakersfield JobFest provided a platform for locals to connect with hundreds of organizations looking for new talent on March 14 at the Rabobank Convention Center.

The event, hosted by the Kern County Department of Human Services, brought employment opportunities to several regions of the county including Lake Isabella, Taft, and Ridgecrest. Eight similar events take place from February to June each year.

Companies representing different industries and fields were present. They were available to answer questions as well as accept resumes. Some also provided participants with applications that they could fill out during the event.

Brandon Evans, the event’s coordinator, said that about 3,000 people were in attendance and all would have a chance to get in touch with more than 150 employers. He added that JobFest is held every year in Bakersfield, and the response has been impressive so far.

Jenny Brito
Job Fest representatives from left to right: Maricela Gonzales, Rosenda Guerra, and Andrea Johnson.

Before attendants were able to interact with potential employers, they had the opportunity to attend a workshop called “Be Your Best at Job Fest.” The workshop began at 8 a.m. and prepared people for the event that followed.

According to Evans, navigating the Convention Center during JobFest can be confusing due to the big crowds and various employers. The workshop gave people tips on how to successfully connect with organizations of interest and leave a lasting impression.

The workshop discussed topics including how to effectively market oneself to employers, take on a winning approach, transform the follow-up process, and understand the power of JobFest connections.

“One of the biggest [pieces of] advice is to apply to places even if they do not seem like a good match. They might have something else for you along the road,” Evans explained.

Some places such as healthcare facilities offer more than healthcare-related positions, he said; they also need janitors, receptionists, accountants, etc.

People seemed to be following up on that advice. Marla Rodriguez, who was looking for jobs in the hospitality industry, said that she applied to other places such as retail stores.

“In this economy, you have to be ready and willing to take any job,” Rodriguez shared.

Evans also advised people to have a good attitude when meeting with potential employers. He said that applicants should smile, show positive energy, and be proactive.

“Why would companies want to hire someone who looks grumpy?” he mentioned.

Jenny Brito
Kristin M. Laguna and two members of the U.S. Navy recruit at the Job Fest.

Leonard Ochoa, a recent graduate from CSUB, shared the sentiment. He said that some people seemed like they did not want to be at the event. “Others can see that, and it can throw companies off,” he shared. He said that he believed that one of the best things people can do is have a friendly conversation with recruiters and leave a good impression.

Some of the organizations at the event included Holiday Inn, Target, Maya Cinemas, Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Navy. The next JobFest will take place on March 29 in Lake Isabella.