Job hunting is never easy and the pandemic has made it even more difficult.
However, a new online tool could be a huge help for anyone looking for work right now.
A website launched this week aimed at connecting San Luis Obispo County employers with job seekers.
Loreli Cappel led the project to construct the website with the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC).
"We know that there are people sitting down collecting unemployment now that weren't a month or two ago so we hope that this is an opportunity for them to kind of explore and stay local," Cappel said.
For 25 years, the non-profit EVC has worked to develop San Luis Obispo County's workforce and economy. The EVC's mission is now stronger than ever.
"We've actually had three or four companies recently contact us and say, 'We're changing our model and we are looking for hires right now,'" Cappel said.
Tim Williams, CEO of telecommunications and internet company Digital West, is part of the EVC's board of local business leaders. He helped develop an idea for a one-stop shopping website for job seekers.
"We said: We have a problem with such low unemployment here in our region with plenty of businesses that need the talent. How do we get that talent to recognize that we have the businesses here, we do have openings," Williams said.
The idea was born months before anyone knew how badly we would need it.
"It wasn't because of the pandemic. It was because we just didn't have the talent in the region here," Williams said.
"You can take a look at a jobs map that says there are 75 companies here in tech so take a look at them and check out their careers pages," Cappel said. "[The website] actually allows people to explore by industry all of the different companies that might be hiring."
Over 1,000 local companies are listed with links directly to job listings pages for each of those businesses.
"[These are] great companies with living wages so you can afford to live here and stay here and there are a lot of options," Cappel said.
There are more opportunities than you may think.
"There are a lot of technical businesses and biochem businesses that are really busy right now and still hiring, including Digital West," Williams said. "There are a lot of companies in this area that you may not have even heard of, that they are looking for staff right now. This is going to end and eventually we'll be back on track."
The EVC's new employer-talent connection website also provides prospective workers with information about living and working in the SLO County region.
Cappel and Williams agree that remote working will become more prevalent following the rise in working-from-home during the pandemic.
"If we want to have new engineers, new scientists, new writers, whatever it might be for a job, we might have them live in Bakersfield or the other side of the country and not actually have them move here," Williams said.
If you are an employer whose company is not listed on the website, contact the EVC to have your information added.