Applicants at the Mesquite Works Job Fair held on Aug. 16. Photo by Kristen Williams

Many Mesquite citizens talk of things such as the inability to find a job. Some say Mesquite isn’t an area where younger people can come to find work. But that’s just a myth.

When you consider the much smaller scale, there are the same opportunities for the younger job seekers in Mesquite as there are in larger cities and there’s less competition.

Evidence of this was apparent during the last job fair, which was held at the Rising Star Sports Ranch and organized by Mesquite Works. The job fair, held on Aug. 16, boasted the largest turnout yet in both those seeking work and those offering positions.

Close to 250 individuals were looking for work from one of the 18 businesses who were offering multiple positions. If the job fair was to be held in a city like Las Vegas, you can easily multiply the number of job seekers by 10 and not be accused of over exaggerating.

While the median household income averages $13,000 less a year than Las Vegas, keeping things in perspective, you must consider that Las Vegas and larger cities also offer a lot more traffic, noise, people, congestion, competition and a higher cost of living along with their increased employment opportunities and slightly higher salaries; it’s a trade-off that not all are unhappy with.

Starting salaries and entry level positions pay the same in Mesquite as they do in the much larger cities, minimum wage is minimum wage in Nevada. The benefit of looking for that entry level position in Mesquite is that you won’t have several hundred-people fighting for it.

It’s the median income seekers that have really had the challenges of finding suitable employment that will allow them to enjoy the small-town lifestyle they’ve also sought, but things are improving.

It is agencies such as Mesquite Works, Mesquite Regional Business, Mesquite Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Connections that are making the difference.

The staff and volunteers in these organizations get the word out, bring new businesses in and organize events like the job fairs to connect both those offering and those seeking employment.

One of the new companies who attended the recent job fair, Nexeo, is a temporary staffing agency that is offering Mesquite residents full-time, temporary employment with a new Mesquite business called Liquid Health. They provide full-time positions and a starting salary above minimum wage with health benefits from day one. The employment can lead to full-time, permanent employment with Liquid Health if the employee proves himself during the 90-day contract with Nexeo. It also offers the ability to advance within the company and earn a living wage.

Deep Roots Harvest is a company that that has attended many job fairs and hired several of job seekers who have attended in the past. DRH has got plans for expansion and is often looking to hire for full-time, part-time and per diem work. There are opportunities there for all levels of job seekers.

One of the other companies, new to the Mesquite Works job fairs, Aquatic, is a bath and shower manufacturing company located in Moapa. Their representative attended the fair in hopes of filling three positions with their company.

With 18 different businesses in attendance, all offering one or multiple positions and advancement opportunities, it’s easy for anyone who attended to see that there are jobs available in Mesquite. While these positions may not offer million-dollar salaries, they do offer steady employment with a decent starting wage and less competition.

Mesquite is the perfect place to live for those who are looking for employment to supplement their retirement or those starting off, just because you don’t see ads in the classifieds, doesn’t mean the jobs aren’t available.

For those who are looking for that million-dollar salary, you may have to look elsewhere for now or consider the challenges of small-town living before moving to an area that may have limited opportunities. Others can have faith that new companies are coming in to the area, opportunities are improving and, for diligent seeking and hard working individuals, there is decent employment to be found in Mesquite.