In trying to forge a new career path, Monique Lazzarini decided to share some of her knowledge with others doing the same.

She hosts the Bay Area Career Fair in Concord where the focus will be on veterans and professionals.

Lazzarini said in attempting "to be resourceful and unconventional in my search," she came across a story of a veteran finding employment after years of not working.

"I knew I wanted the same for my neighbors in my community that were unemployed or displaced. ... Having a passion for humanitarianism and for the thousands of people in our community that have a hand up, I created this event."

Her main goal is to build a stronger community and "economic environment by connecting people to opportunities."

She focused on making veterans an integral part of the event.

"Decreased dignity and self-esteem is a commonality I wanted to change with hope and opportunity."

Lazzarini has been working on the event for several months and is grateful to the many that helped.

"I am humbled by the outpouring of support and reminded that humanity exists."

She said with community outreach and recruiting efforts from some 60-plus volunteer professionals, the program has exceeded expectations.

The five-hour program will include career-readiness workshops and employers with opportunities. There are about 35 participating employers, including Starbucks, Dow, Home Depot, Lowe's, Safeway, Hertz, State Farm, Comcast, AC Transit, Kelly Services and more.


Advertisement

The workshops include resume building and review of veterans' resources; LinkedIn for job search; problem-action-result statements; interview techniques; connection with employers; and host-speaking opportunities.

She noted that LinkedIn, Job Boards and social media have changed the way career seekers search, research, network and apply for jobs.

"Conversely, social media has changed the ways recruiters search for talent .... Our LinkedIn for Job Search workshop is guaranteed to provide the tools necessary to increase the career seekers visibility and connections so that employers and recruiters can find them."

And, Lazzarini added, "Our employers, such as the FBI, Benchmark, Bio-Rad and Wells Fargo, are bringing top opportunities to match top talent from careers, such as special agents and officers to engineers, programmers, project managers, sales, personal bankers and skilled laborers to name a few."

Some elected officials have also helped to ensure the day is a success. In attendance will be representatives from state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier's office, and Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla and Supervisor Federal Glover, who both have been instrumental in the planning.

Lazzarini said the event wouldn't have come together without the aid of Experience Unlimited, a network of professionals seeking careers. EU offers free workshops.

"They are an amazing and diverse network of veterans and professionals. I am grateful," she said.

Contact Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.

IF YOU GO
WHAT: Bay Area Career Fair with focus on veterans and professionals
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 11
WHERE: Cal State East Bay Concord campus, 4700 Ygnacio Road, Concord
INFORMATION: Visit www.euccc.org. The event is sponsored by Cal State, California's Employment Development Department and Experience Unlimited. Preregistration is recommended as space is limited. Register at CareerFair@euccc.org.