Area employers meet job seekers in La Feria

LA FERIA — For one afternoon the First United Methodist Church in town had the hustle and bustle of industry happening inside.

Area employers and job seekers connected for the fourth year in a row at the La Feria Job Fair yesterday.

The job fair attracted more than 20 area employers who were looking to find good employees.

Adrian Rios walked in the front door of the church and sat down with the first employer he saw.

He introduced himself, opened his folder and handed the JC Penny’s job recruiter his resume.

At the back of the church hall, U.S. Border Patrol agents were talking to prospective employees about the adventure and benefits of working to safeguard the border.

Harlingen resident Francisco Gonzalez, 21, spoke with U.S. Border Patrol and Customs about employment with the agency.

Gonzalez said they were very helpful and guided him though the online application process.

“This is a great opportunity and I like how the job fair has been organized,” said Karen Martinez, Freedom Insurance Company district manager. “There is an opportunity for everyone here.”

Martinez spoke to job seekers about Liberty Tax Service Income Tax preparation services and insurance opportunities she was hiring for.

La Feria resident John Pickering, 66, said he attended the job fair because he needed to get away from farming.

After noticing the sign announcing the job fair at the church, he made it a point to show up to find another job.

“I think the job fair is great,” Pickering said. “People need jobs and this is a nice place to get a start.”

Some of the many employers at the job fair were DISH Network, Bert Ogden Toyota, BCFS Health and Human Services, Jackson Hewitt, Spectrum, Texas Department of Public Safety and area school districts.

First-time job seeker Ashley Vargas, 18, of Harlingen, had her resume ready and was passing it out to all the employers she was interested in working for on a part-time basis.

“I’m expecting to get a few call backs,” Vargas said.

Vargas arrived early to the job fair to get a head start to meet with employers. But there were already more than 50 job seekers talking to employers at 1 p.m. when the job fair began.

“We are very pleased with the results so far,” said Andi Atkinson, La Feria Job Fair organizer. “What is most important to us is that people are finding jobs and being connected with employers.”