Job fair targets East Side unemployment

Hundreds of job hunters show up

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday for a job fair on the East Side, where unemployment is more than three times the rate of the San Antonio metro region.

Workforce Solutions Alamo and the city of San Antonio hosted the fair primarily for residents of the East Point Promise Zone.

Rita Flemings was as hopeful as she was focused.

"Trying to find a job," she said. "I haven't been working for four months."

More than 30 employers, including hotels, restaurants and the San Antonio Police Department, set up to interview prospective employees. Some even hired on the spot.

"Bringing the job fair to the people that need the jobs is really what we're doing here," said Alan Warrick, city councilman for District 2.

While the unemployment rate for the San Antonio region has improved to 3.7 percent, the same can not be said for the East Side, where unemployment is as high as 15 percent.

Why the disparity?

"Educational opportunities," Warrick said. "We also have schools that could be performing better."

Job-seeker Retasha Sinkfield agreed that her community needs stronger job training. She has a job, but wants to advance.

"A lot of the jobs I've come in contact with, you do need additional education," she said.

She was looking for a position in customer relations and found several employers that piqued her interest.

The East Point Promise Zone is a federal designation aimed at reducing poverty and crime and increasing educational and job opportunities.  

The job fair was viewed as a good fit as well as a success for Flemings. She came in without a job and left employed.

"I'm very proud of myself," she said.

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