PG&E job fair draws 750 hopeful applicants

Job seekers line up at PG&E's Energy Education Center. The company has 1,000 temporary job openings.
Job seekers line up at PG&E's Energy Education Center. The company has 1,000 temporary job openings.

Men and women wearing slacks and pencil skirts parked along a crowded Ontario Road and trekked to the Pacific Gas and Electric Energy Education Center on Friday afternoon.

There, they joined a long line of people winding their way through the center’s parking lot, waiting to enter the PG&E Hiring Fair. The fair drew 750 job-seekers from throughout the county to learn about temporary construction, maintenance, administrative and clerical positions with PG&E.

An afternoon and an evening session were held, with representatives from each job category educating fair participants about position requirements and the online application process.

PG&E will hire about 1,000 temporary employees for a planned maintenance and refueling outage at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant around October. PG&E spokesman Blair Jones said the outage could last between four weeks and two months, so the temporary jobs will vary in length.

PG&E employs 1,800 people in San Luis Obispo County, 1,500 of whom work at the Diablo Canyon plant, Jones said. Diablo Canyon has two reactor units, each of which shuts down for maintenance and refueling every 18-20 months. During the planned outages, PG&E hires supplemental workers to assist Diablo Canyon employees.

Temporary positions for these outages include cement masons, carpenters, clerical workers, technicians, maintenance workers, pipe fitters, engineers and utility workers. Jones said the hiring fair helps PG&E find a wide array of skilled tradesmen to fill the positions. It also educates participants on available full-time positions with the company.

"It’s a one-stop shop for people looking for employment in the county,” Jones said.

Samantha Law graduated from Cal Poly last year and has since been working two part-time jobs, she said. She attended the job fair hoping to learn about full-time work with PG&E.

“I’m open to anything,” Law said.

Law submitted applications for many positions with PG&E, including cafeteria services, but said she hopes to take on a job in entry-level administration. Her mother worked for PG&E, inspiring Law to seek positions within the company.

“I’ve always been attached to the idea of working at PG&E,” she said.

To get ready for the hiring fair, Law attended one of six preparatory resume-building workshops hosted by America’s Job Centers of California. Workshop participants received a “golden ticket,” letting them skip the line and enter the fair 30 minutes early. The workshops not only got Law into the fair early, but gave tips on how to dress and introduce herself to potential employers.

“It was great to know what to expect since I’ve never been to a job fair,” she said.