LIHUE — As Jalissa Rapozo-Carveiro filled out job applications and visited employers at Kauai Community College’s job fair, she was hopeful she would find work.
“I got laid off recently so I’m trying to find a job. I haven’t heard from any of the jobs I’ve applied to so I’m just kind of hustling,” the Lawai resident said. “It’s a lot because I live on my own, I’m 18. I moved out the day I turned 18. My rent is a lot so I need a job. I have my own car. I pay my own bills and I need at least minimum $10 an hour to get by with all my bills.”
Hundreds of Kauai residents turned out for the fair and were pleased to meet employers from businesses like American Savings Bank, Home Depot, Jack in the Box and Kauai Coffee Company that filled the One Stop Center.
Kipu resident Joanne Ham Young is looking for a job and visited the fair after losing her caregiver position.
“I’m just looking for some part-time work to fill in my time,” Young said. “I think it’s really a great turn out and they have a lot of great opportunities for people to find some employment here, hopefully everybody finds it.”
Young said working means everything to her so she can help her family.
Through February, Kauai County’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, while the state of Hawaii’s was 4.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.
The fair was held from 9 a.m. to noon with 44 businesses present. Employers spoke with citizens about job opportunities from cashier to management positions and established interviews with promising candidates.
“It was nice to see that amount of people coming to the fair,” said Sharon Hyla, the administrative assistant for the Kauai Coffee Company. “I think it’s a great opportunity and I’m glad people take the initiative to come to the fair, to be seen and to talk to employers.”
Many were pleased with the fair, including 23-year-old Koloa resident, Sky Gonzales.
“It helps support local jobs in the area and it also helps bring the community together so basically people can have the opportunity to network and also get a chance to know each other’s skills and their strengths in the work place,” he said.
Gonzales said he is interested in working in hospitality, tourism and business technology.
Nathan Lemn, who has been looking for a job off and on, said he hoped to find work through the fair.
“It’ll be worth it if you just hang out and just be patient and maybe something good might come your way,” he said.
Recent college graduates also visited the fair, including University of Hawaii West Oahu graduate, Tiara Visitacion, who has been looking for a job for two months.
“Definitely a lot of opportunities so I’m kind of excited about this,” she said.