Hundreds in Modesto line up for two Forest Service jobs

The sign promised "Wide Open Spaces. Wide Open Futures."

The reality was a crowded line that snaked across the conference hall for two openings with the U.S. Forest Service.

"It's kind of depressing, really. These people are hardworking. There's just not a whole lot of entry-level positions out there for them," said U.S. Forest Service recruiter Rita Yates as she spoke with person after person Tuesday afternoon.

Some 1,500 attendees came, with résumés in hand, to the Modesto HIREvent job fair at Modesto Centre Plaza. What they found at the event sponsored by the California Job Journal was a dozen employers and organizations eager to give them information, but which had precious few jobs.

"I thought there would be a lot more employers here, so I am disappointed," said Merced resident Danny Salazar, a former electrical motor mechanic who was laid off in February.

Since then, he has been looking for work, any work, to pay the bills.

"I just want to get hired somewhere. I am trying to appeal to anyone who will give me a break," said Salazar, who came dressed neatly in a white shirt and tie.

Job seekers such as Salazar are finding that the problem with job fairs these days is that they simply don't have enough jobs.

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