The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Report raises concerns about job fair's future

 

Kevin Wilson

Outgoing 27th Special Operations Wing Vice Commander Col. Michael Conley speaks after receiving the key to the city at Thursday night's Clovis City Commission meeting. Conley is leaving Cannon Air Force Base to take over the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field.

CLOVIS - The P-4 job fair, by all accounts, has the reputation of being a great job fair in its service of eastern New Mexico residents.

The concern, however, might be that it's not a great big job fair at the moment.

Organizers with the Eastern Plains Council of Governments reported on the April 12 fair held at the Clovis Civic Center. Raymond Mondragon of EPCOG said that of 45 vendors that filled out a survey, 31 of them would absolutely attend future fairs; also, 23 of 37 vendors rated the fair an 8, 9 or 10 with no vendors scoring the fair a 1 or 2.

The issue going forward, Mondragon said, is dwindling attendance. Just 280 attended the fair, compared to 340 in 2017.

"I think we need to have a discussion," Mondragon said, "and maybe find a way for Workforce Connections to do this in future years."

City Commissioner Chris Bryant asked if April was just a bad time. Mondragon responded that might be a factor, and it could be one of the details addressed when planning for either a possible seventh annual fair or absorbing the efforts into another local job fair.

Of the 280 who attended, 263 had interviews and 108 anticipated a job offer.

In other business at Thursday's meeting:

• The commission awarded keys to the city to 27th Special Operations Wing Vice Commander Col. Michael Conley and to Miss Rodeo America Keri Sheffield, Miss Rodeo New Mexico Kiana Elder, New Mexico State Fair Queen Ciara Rabenau and Miss Turquoise Circuit Haley Olson.

Conley is soon leaving Clovis and will on June 22 take over command of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field.

"We're in a position where both wings can continue to work together," Conley said, adding, "This has been a phenomenal assignment for my family and I."

The rodeo queens are in Clovis for the annual Pioneer Days celebration, and were joined by local Pioneer Days royalty to promote the nightly rodeos at the Curry County Events Center.

• Plains Regional Medical Center Administrator Dick Smith gave a brief report on the hospital.

Smith noted PRMC employs 700 people and contributes about $100 million annually to the economy. The facility's smaller cafeteria has provided 20,000 meals over the years in summer months to children who qualify for free school lunches, and also aids with Meals on Wheels.

He said the hospital strives for excellence, but realizes people are usually coming there because something bad is happening. He said he wants to know if people have complaints.

"If you hear about that, please let us know," Smith said. "We've got about a dozen initiatives going on because of suggestions from people who had problems."

• With little discussion, commissioners voted 7-0 to activate the Revenue Review Commission ahead of its standard August starting point. Commissioners will make appointments to the board in future meetings.

• Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer said the city plans to honor the late Willie Green and his wife Ange Green on July 7. Green was the longest-tenured pastor in Clovis before dying in April of last year.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. June 21 at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

 

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