UCC offers students job information and resources to decrease student unemployment at job fair

Published by Savannah Peterson on

Flyer created by Inez Orozco to promote participation in the job fair.
Photo provided by Umpqua Community College

UCC offers students job information and resources to decrease student unemployment at job fair

Find a summer job that will pay tuition and class fees.

Since last year’s layoffs due to COVID-19, businesses are struggling to find employees. 

UCC Job Placement Coordinator Inez Orozco says, “It is a challenge for employers to find people who want to work because of COVID.” Orozco says with people wanting to properly social distance themselves, not as many people are wanting to work.

Employment rates have been steadily increasing since May of 2020, but the number of people who have suffered long-term unemployment rate is steady. 

UCC offers resources to students in order to help them find jobs easier both at UCC and with employers in the community. Ann Abel, UCC’s work-study coordinator, is planning work-study positions now for next school year.

Unemployment rates skyrocketed around March/April 2020.
Photo provided by Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dan Ruch, a career coach at UCC, also offers student workshops in order to help students with job skills such as resumes, applications, interviews, skills and more. Ruch also helps students with easier transfer to university.

Pre-COVID, UCC held job fairs on campus for students to attend before and after classes or during a break. Due to social distancing guidelines, job fairs had to change to virtual events. In November, Orozco held a virtual job fair.

“The outcome was not as good as in person,” Orozco says. 

The recent May virtual job fair was better received.

“There are a lot more students that registered for the event, but that does not mean that each student will come to the event,” Orozco says. More students attended the in person events rather than the virtual event. 

Additional job fairs will be offered this coming fall. Information about these fairs will be available on the UCC website.

Although more students attended the in-person job fairs than the virtual ones, the virtual job fairs have benefits that students may want to consider.

“I feel it is a lot more beneficial, for one because we are properly social distancing for COVID, but also at one point in time the employers would have to come onto campus, some were coming from Eugene and even Portland so they had to travel to Roseburg early,” Orozco says.  

Being virtual relieves the stress of making sure everything is in its proper place during in-person events.

During March/April 2020, payroll employment notably dropped. Photo provided by Bureau of Labor Statistics

“Employers would bring all of their stuff (to and from the school), but now, all they have to do is get it all connected online, they do not have to travel,” Orozco says. “Employers can sit at their desks while doing their work and wait for students, I even suggest for some to read a book.”

Orozco says students can log into Zoom and find employers they are interested in. All employers are in breakout rooms. After students join the meeting in the main room,  they will tell Orozco who they want to speak to then she will direct them to the breakout rooms. 

 If students do not have time to visit the job fair event, Orozco offers students opportunities to find work positions that best fit their career interests or just to find a summer job that will pay their intuition and class fees. 

Orozco helps students find entrance positions. “This is a good place to get yourself in the door and get background information with a company. Once the company sees that you worked with them before and you now have a degree, it will get you a higher position with an employer,” Orozco says. 

Some students may not want full time positions. Orozco says that seasonal work is a solution: “I have summer jobs available for students through Nord Farms which is a seasonal position; the work may be hard, but students can walk away with a nice income, so they can continue to go to school in the fall.”

Orozco offers advice to help students stay positive: “When it comes to graduates or the students who are graduating, do not be discouraged when looking for work, everyone has to go through it at one point and you will find something that is right for you,” Orozco says.

Contact me at:

For more articles by Savannah Peterson please click here.