South Sound News

Hire 253 job fair targets homeless population looking for opportunities

TACOMA, Wash. — As the homeless crisis persists in our region, a number of nonprofits and community groups in Pierce County came together today to try to ease the problem, one job at a time.

More than 1,000 job seekers attended Hire 253, a job fair held at the Goodwill Milgard Work Opportunity Center in Tacoma from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The event is not just for people who are homeless, but organizers say they are focused on this growing problem.

“That’s what we like to say, changing lives one job at a time, and that’s what we do,” said Kelly Blucher, Goodwill’s Community Engagement Manager.

At the last event last summer, Blucher said about 33 percent of the attendees found jobs.

The goal this year is to boost that number to 50 percent.

Among the job seekers we talked to is 20-year-old Antonio Garcia. He said he wants to get his own apartment and car and that’s why he’s doing everything he can to land a full-time job.

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“I am the best employee that you will ever hire,” said Garcia. “Whether they believe it or not, I am going to put 110 % into everything that I got.”

This job fair targets the homeless population in Pierce County. That number is now close to 5,000 with about 1,500 actively looking for work.

About 90 employers took part at this job fair. Many of them, including Safeway, offered on-the-spot interviews.

“Some of our most qualify candidates are those who have gone through tough times,” said Brian Nagy, a Safeway store manager in Tacoma. “They are driven, hungry for work and we are happy to be there and support them.”

The next Hire 253 Job fair is scheduled for July.

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