Lending a hand
Bay City Flower Co. employees facing unemployment were invited to a resource fair hosted by the city of Half Moon Bay on Thursday. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

On Thursday, Half Moon Bay officials and local nonprofits held a resource fair for Bay City Flower Co. employees facing unemployment in the coming weeks.

Bay City announced the first wave of layoffs to about 60 employees on Sept. 10. The rest of the 140 employees will lose their jobs when it closes next month.

More than 16 organizations brought job openings, resume guidance, resources on benefits and other career-related materials to the Ted Adcock Community Center in Half Moon Bay on Thursday.

Half Moon Bay management analyst Victor Gaitan estimated 40 to 50 people stopped by throughout the four-hour event.

Teresa Covarrubias has worked for the company for more than 20 years. When she was pulled into a staff meeting, she never expected to hear Bay City was closing.

“It was very sad,” Covarrubias said through a translator. “I don’t know what would’ve been better, being in that first group of people or second group. (The second group) are people that have been working the longest.”

With pamphlets from the booths in front of her, she said she hasn't applied for a job yet. She’s part of the second wave of layoffs.

“On Nov. 10, the doors will close, but many other doors will open,” she said. Covarrubias is a single mom living in Moonridge with her 3-year-old. Her other kids are adults now.

“We have faith in God,” she said. “We will move forward.”

The closure is affecting parents, like Covarrubias, and their children. Half Moon Bay High School junior Socorro Aguilar, whose mom worked at Bay City for eight years, said her family is “hanging in there.”

Aguilar said many of her school friends’ family members have also lost their jobs at Bay City. Some have had to take extra jobs to help with income. But it’s not often discussed on campus.

“I have to sign up for the PSAT and I have to pay for a lot of stuff right now for school. I feel kind of bad asking my parents,” Aguilar said. “But my mom’s not showing how stressed she is, so I guess that helps because I’m not getting all the weight from how she’s feeling.”

Her mom provided the primary source of income for her, her brother and her dad, but Aguilar said their savings are holding them over. On Thursday, Aguilar’s mom had a job interview.

Coastside social service agencies are continuing to assist people impacted by the impending closure, and the city plans to hold more events in the coming month as many employees weren’t able to leave work at the flower company to attend.

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