Job fair June 7 aims to help storm recovery in Pajaro

A job fair will be held in the Pajaro community of Monterey County on June 7 as residents there and elsewhere in the county continue the recovery from winter storms.   

The storm disaster recovery center at Pajaro Park will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day but will reopen Tuesday at 9 a.m.   

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration said during a virtual press conference led by the county Wednesday that the center there and at the Santa Cruz County governmental center will be open for the foreseeable future.   

The disaster centers were opened in the wake of rainstorms that lasted from late December through March. The storms caused flooding and damage in several areas, including the Pajaro community in North Monterey County, prompting President Joe Biden to issue a federal disaster declaration.   

FEMA has so far approved $2 million in individual assistance grants and has registered 1,400 residents for assistance, according to Tiana Suber, a FEMA representative.   

An aerial view of flooded homes along the Pajaro River in Monterey County. March 13, 2023 

The SBA has approved 24 home loan applications, 17 economic injury disaster loans and 14 business loans, for a total of $1.5 million, according to Marielli Carty Del Rosario with the SBA. The agency has received 863 referrals from FEMA for eligible applicants.   

Pajaro residents can board Monterey-Salinas Transit buses for free in Pajaro through June 30, according to MST representative Ikuyo Yoneda-Lopez.   

The job fair on June 7 will be held from 1-4 p.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church at 100 Salinas Road in Pajaro.   

The fair will be hosted by the Monterey County Workforce Development Board and the Santa Cruz County Workforce Development Board.     

"We're happy to be hosting the event in an effort to spur economic improvement to an area that's been severely impacted due to flood damages," said Christopher Donnelly, Monterey County Workforce Development's executive director.   

Employers interested in attending can contact Monterey Workforce Development representatives Diego Anguiano at (831) 597-4375 or Laura Kershner at (831) 796-3341.