Large community-led job expo planned for Nicholl Park in Richmond

Large community-led job expo planned for Nicholl Park in Richmond
Photos of preparations for the Nicholl Park job expo by Mike Kinney.

By Mike Kinney

Contra Costa County government officials, trade union representatives, faith-based organizations and private businesses are partnering to host a large Job Expo at Nicholl Park in Richmond on Saturday, Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The free expo will connect local community members to a wide range of career resources and opportunities; building trade equipment demonstrations; a raffle that includes a truck giveaway by Evans Auto and Truck Service; free haircuts; assistance with criminal record expungements and Covid-19 vaccinations. The event will also feature a car show sponsored by Unfinished Business and Food Trucks, along with activities for kids including jumpers in the Kid Zone supplied by Richmond Police Activities League.

Speaking of kids: 150 children attending job fair will receive free backpacks and school supplies donated by the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council (Contra Costa BTC). West County Reads will also donate books. Back-to-school haircuts will be offered and youth can play in a construction zone for children supervised by Got Goals, a youth and family organization. Both Chevron Richmond and Conco-Phillip 66 also helped sponsor the fair.

On Tuesday, representatives helping to organize the large expo visited Nicholl Park to plan logistics. Those taking part in today’s tour included reps from Teamster Local 315, Contra Costa BTC, Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 324, Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office, CJ’s BBQ & Fish, Alten Construction, Supervisor John Gioia’s Office, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 342, Iron Workers Local 376, the City of Richmond, Richmond Police Activities League and West County Reads.

“With all of the unions and companies that will be here it is a wonderful opportunity for the residents of Richmond and Contra Costa to make a big difference in getting good paying jobs,” said Mike Hughes, business agent for the Teamsters Local 315.

Bill Whitney, Contra Costa BTC CEO, noted the expo can provide opportunities for upward mobility for local residents.

Reaching out to the community in a visible way is important, added Fernando Campos, representing Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 324.

“We have over 1000 members who live in Richmond,” Campos said. “It’s important to engage in the community because they are the community. This job expo is about having a good career and an opportunity for have livable wages.”

It’s also about residents working together to build their community, Bob Alten of Alten Construction said.

“You take pride in in the fact, you built this building,” Alten said. “And the Job Expo will give that chance to be a part of something so much bigger.”

The expo is hosted by SEED LLC, a Richmond-based company that engages local community organizations, faith-based organizations, private businesses and public agencies in efforts to boost the local economy, education, entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Co-hosts include Independent Holiness Church and Contra Costa BTC.

“This job expos is important to the people of Richmond and Contra Costa County, the way the shipyards were opportunities back in the 1940s to build a better life,” said Outreach Coordinator Antwon Cloird.