Silicone Slopes job fair offers lifeline to laid off tech workers
LEHI, Utah — A hastily organized tech industry job fair brought hope to hundreds of out-of-work people in Utah’s tech industry.
The event was put together and held at the headquarters of the Silicon Slopes organization in Lehi.
“Just a bunch of employees and a bunch of people looking for jobs, that’s the setup,” Clint Betts the CEO of Silicon Slopes said. “The worst thing possible I think is to get laid off right before the holidays and so if we can help maybe make a difference to get some people going into the holidays that don’t have to worry about a job – that would be cool.”
Betts said they came up with the idea on Thursday to organize the event and they couldn’t believe the turnout on Monday morning as hundreds of people came through the doors.
“I’m blown away,” he said. “What’s incredible about this community is how we come together, honestly, and look out for each other.”
Angelica Lopez and Paul Peterson showed up at the event hoping to find a job in the tech industry. Both were laid off about two weeks ago.
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“Even though it’s hard, it’s a great opportunity for me to figure out what I want to do next,” Lopez said. “Just encouraging to see that companies are hiring right now.”“There is some uncertainty, am I going to be able to pay my bills by the first of the year,” Peterson wondered. “A lot of people [in the tech community] lost their jobs, a bad time of year.”
There is hope, the dozens of companies that showed up all said they were hiring.
“We are hiring, software engineers, product managers, data scientists, sales. You name it, we are hiring across the board right now,” Joe Dunleavy with MarketDial said. “It’s nice to have that community where everyone can come together and when there are hard times the community steps up and helps each other out.”
“It’s really sad,” said Gabby Wright with BambooHR a software company, when talking about how many people have been laid off recently. “We are hiring, we have tech, HR, and marketing which is what I specifically recruit for.”
Lopez said she’s hoping for a little Christmas miracle and wanted to find something before the end of the week.
“It would be fantastic, I’m definitely working hard. I’ve applied to over 20 jobs already,” she said.
The job fair was a half a day event. Silicon Slopes said it plans to do more in the future.
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