"It makes you nervous that there are so many people looking for a job, but there are only so many positions," she said.
Moore's odds of finding a job improved on Wednesday. She attended an event that was the result of a collaboration between the Denver Workforce Center and the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association.
The event matched 50 pre-screened job seekers who had expressed an interest in the hospitality industry with 15 hotels and restaurants in the Denver area. All of the job seekers met Workforce Center requirements, which included registering with the center and receiving unemployment benefits at least once within the past year.
"If we can place all of [the job seekers] today, we will do that," Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association President Christine O'Donnell said.
The jobs were created with Federal Economic Stimulus dollars given to the state of Colorado. Workforce Center officials approached the hospitality industry officials to find out where they had the greatest need for jobs. Those needs turned out to be in the housekeeping/janitorial, cooking and serving fields.
"Starting off with any of these jobs, you're looking at $10 to $16 an hour, with benefits starting off at 40 hours," said O'Donnell, who added that the jobs come with an opportunity for advancement. "Some of our best GM's, even here in Denver, started off as dishwashers."
Robin Martinez, project manager with the city and county of Denver Office of Economic Development (www.milehigh.com), said the positions are initially subsidized by the money that the state gets from the stimulus package.
"We've got this one-time funding through Hire Colorado. And it's to get people back to work from being on unemployment," she said. "It's going to be 100 percent reimbursement to the businesses for 10 to 11 weeks. At the end of the 10 to 11 weeks, the individual will have been trained according to the industry needs and be brought in at 100 percent with the business paying the wage. So it's a permanent job for these individuals."
John Avalos hopes to get one of those permanent jobs.
"I think it opened my mind and eyes to new adventures and new challenges," he said after the first of three back-to-back interviews.
The Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association says they've been approached by the Jefferson County and Summit County workforce centers about hosting similar events in those areas.
Denver's workforce center is also working on similar programs focusing on jobs in the health care, construction and energy fields.
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