“I’m confident”: Oak Cliff Native Hopeful for a Change after Virtual Job Fair in Dallas

Shaterica Asberry attends a job fair at the T.R. Hoover Multipurpose Center in Dallas, TX, on Sep. 24, 2020. Though the job fair is a virtual event, T.R. Hoover's parking lot was set up to offer laptops and a Wi-Fi for area residents to use. (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)
Shaterica Asberry attends a job fair at the T.R. Hoover Multipurpose Center in Dallas, TX, on Sep. 24, 2020. Though the job fair is a virtual event, T.R. Hoover's parking lot was set up to offer laptops and a Wi-Fi for area residents to use. (Jason Janik/Special Contributor)

“This story is being reprinted in Texas Metro News as part of a partnership with The Dallas Morning News.”

State Fair of Texas and partners set up outdoor Wi-Fi station for job seekers without internet. For this 31-year-old woman, it was a lifeline

By Brooklynn Cooper
Dallas Morning News Writer

Before Shaterica Asberry woke up Thursday morning, she had already planned her outfit: a red pantsuit, a black blouse, red and white high-top Vans, and a gold necklace that matched her sunflower yellow nails.

She had a goal to accomplish: land a job.

The State Fair of Texas held its first virtual job fair, which wrapped up Friday afternoon. To accommodate people without internet access, the State Fair and other partners set up tables with laptops outside the T.R. Hoover Center in South Dallas.

Last week, when Asberry saw a sign outside the center advertising the two-day event, she pulled over to see what it was about. After she registered for the fair, she took a flier home and looked through the list of employers, flagging jobs she liked.

On Thursday morning, she prayed and headed to Bexar Street to use the center’s Wi-Fi.

Asberry, 31, loaded trucks for UPS drivers until two months ago, when seven of her coworkers tested positive for the coronavirus. She didn’t feel comfortable returning and risking exposure. But she had been ready for a change for a while — after working in warehouses for six years, she was tired of the heavy lifting.

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