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Hundreds show up at ‘rapid hire’ state job fair

Pamela Coleman, director of the state's personnel office

Pamela Coleman, director of the state’s personnel office

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Cars spilled out of the parking lot and down side streets Wednesday near New Mexico Workforce Connection in Downtown Albuquerque as job seekers sought to fill more than 1,000 openings across state government. Jump Hundreds show up at ‘rapid hire’ state job fairs Two more of these hiring events are set in Albuquerque, Las Cruces By Marie C. Baca Journal Staff Writer

Cars spilled out of the parking lot and down side streets Wednesday near New Mexico Workforce Connection in Downtown Albuquerque as job seekers sought to fill more than 1,000 openings across state government.

The “rapid hire” event is one of several taking place throughout the state this month. The agencies represented at the job fairs include the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Human Services Department, as well as the Children, Youth and Families Department.

Joy Forehand, Workforce Connection’s operations manager, said 481 job seekers participated in Wednesday’s event. After signing in and having their resumes screened, qualified individuals had as many as two on-site interviews with representatives from the relevant agency.

Ricky Serna, deputy cabinet secretary for the Department of Workforce Solutions, said the goal is to streamline a process that could otherwise take months.

“We want as many people as possible to walk out of here with contingent offers, so the only thing they need to do is have their references checked or stuff along those lines,” said Serna.

Pamela Coleman, director of the state’s personnel office, said New Mexico’s agencies are “excited” to fill long-time vacancies and perhaps create additional positions in light of the state’s improved financial situation.

Job fair participants had a range of reactions to the event. Mariah Gallegos, who said she had been unemployed for a month, said she felt the process was easy to navigate and was hopeful about her prospects as a Department of Transportation dispatcher. But Marlene Faulkner-Hussein, who moved to the area from New York in 2017 with a master’s degree and decades in public administration, expressed frustration at being unable to find a position commensurate with her experience.

There are two rapid hire events remaining. The first takes place in Albuquerque on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 501 Mountain Rd. NE, the site of New Mexico Workforce Connection. The other is in Las Cruces on Tuesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Doña Ana Community College, 2800 Sonoma Ranch Blvd.

Participants are asked to bring multiple copies of an updated resume, three professional references, a copy of their school transcript, proof of their right to work in the U.S., and to dress appropriately. Resources are available for those who do not have a resume. Additional information is available by calling (505) 843-1900.

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