LIVERMORE -- After four months of rejection and frustration, Melissa Tallerico's job search ended in just over an hour.
Tallerico was the first person in line Tuesday at a four-hour job fair hosted by Paragon Outlets and when she left she was one of the first people hired for one of the 2,000 expected positions.
More than 1,100 job seekers showed up in just the first hour of the fair held at the Robert Livermore Community Center.
"I had never been to a job fair before, so I am relieved," said Tallerico after she was hired full-time by Perfumania, a fragrance retailer. "I am in shock actually."
An assistant counselor the CalWorks program at Las Positas College, Tallerico, 43, was laid off in April due to budget cuts. She said she spent the past four months searching for employment and stopped counting the number of applications she filed out once the number hit 100.
"It's a full-time job," said Tallerico about her job search. "It was very stressful, but I knew I would come through. It worked out."
Paragon Outlets plans to open a 543,000-square-foot outdoor mall on the south side of Interstate 580 at the El Charro exit that will include Prada, Armani, Coach, Kate Spade, Bloomingdale and Barneys stores. Mall owners have said they expect 2,000 permanent jobs will be filled as well as 1,500 seasonal and temporary positions.
An estimated 1,100 people, who wound their way through long lines circling the community center,
While the 2,000 plus jobs created by the outlets won't put much of a dent in the Bay Area's 9.1 percent jobless rate, the real impact of the outlet will be on the East Bay's tourism market, said Jordan Levine, director of economic research at Beacon Economics, an independent economic research and consulting group based in Los Angeles.
."It will be a tremendous draw for tourists," he said. "That is a net gain for the economy because it is new money for the East Bay that may not have come here, but may be lured from the South Bay and San Francisco."
To help with the influx of tourists, which Paragon expects to be about 40 percent of its clientele after the first two years, new workers are needed.
Larry Fitzmaurice, director of human resources for Bloomingdale's Outlet an anchor tenant at the mall, said he is looking to hire 50 people for an array of full-time, part-time and management jobs.
"We are looking for people with enthusiasm and a genuine interest in promoting and introducing the Bloomindale's brand to outlet shoppers," said Fitzmaurice, who added that this Bloomingdale's Outlet will be the first in California. "We want them to engage with customers and their co-workers."
Hiring managers from 67 of the mall's 120 stores spent the morning and afternoon meeting job seekers of all types, from the retired to those new to the market, hoping to fill their hiring needs.
"Anything good I will take it," said Nelson Akoto, an Antioch resident who has been looking for work since he moved here from Tennessee in January. "I need to be busy."
A second job fair is planned by Livermore and Paragon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the community center, 4444 East Ave.
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/robjordan127.