Outlet mall brings jobs to LPC students

Cressy Tylavsky
Staff Writer

The construction site on the side of I-580 — no, not the farm side — may strike the drivers as just another housing development. However, it will be home to 120 upscale retailers.

Paragon Outlets is set to open November 8. The mall will feature the outlets of four major department stores: Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s, Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus’ Last Call.

“The market is going to be the 100-mile radius of Livermore — from Modesto to Marin County,” Michael Liberatore, general manager of Paragon Outlets, said.

The Tri-Valley’s newest shopping plaza offers high fashion at reduced prices for local shopaholics. It also means jobs for Las Positas College students and people in the greater Livermore area as Paragon Outlets is supposed to bring more than 2,000 jobs to Livermore. It has already created 400 jobs in construction alone.

The first job fair was held on September 11 at the Robert Livermore Community Center. It consisted of 74 stores, ranging from Prada to Under Armour to Cinnabon.

According to an official at the job fair, 2,000 people had attended by noon, halfway through the four-hour job fair. The second job fair is on October 23, where at least 70 more employers with open positions will be waiting to meet the candidates to fill them.

“It was three hours inside but worth every minute,” Kelly Carstensen, an LPC student who attended the job fair, said.

The ground-breaking for this new center, which reportedly cost $162 million to build, was August 26, 2011. The outlet is expected to bring in a minimum $2 million per year in tax revenue, according to the city of Livermore, which previewed the outlets to local media last month.

Lack of jobs isn’t an issue for Livermore. According to the California Employment Development Department, Livermore’s unemployment rate was at 6 percent for August, well below the Alameda County rate (9.3 percent) and the state’s rate (10.6 percent). The city boasts that a third of all jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area are located in this region.

Paragon Outlets has also helped former Las Positas College employee Melissa Tallerico.

Due to budget cuts, Tallerico was laid off in April from her position as assistant counselor for the CalWORKs program. Her exhaustive four-month search ended at the first job fair for Paragon Outlets. She got a full-time job at Perfumania.

“I had never been to a job fair before, so I am relieved,” Tallerico said in an interview with Contra Costa Times. “I am in shock actually. … It was very stressful, but I knew I would come through. It


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