Wells Fargo job fair a sign of rebounding economy

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Hundreds of jobs in the mortgage industry are up for grabs right here in the Valley, and it's not only an indication of an improving housing market, but an economic rebound as well.

"Just looking to expand the horizon a little bit… time for a job change," said Cyrese O'Donnell. 

O'Donnell is like so many applicants who took part in the Wells Fargo job fair.  She stuck it out at her current job during the recession, but now she's landed something better. 

"Currently I'm doing foreclosures but now moving to loan processing so I can help with the dream instead of taking it away," she said.

With home sales climbing and interest rates at an all time record low, the Wells Fargo mortgage division, in an effort to meet customer demand, is looking to hire some 900 people for its new loan operations center in Tempe.

"These refinances help improve the financial position of the customer," said Jacqueline Hill, Executive Vice President of Fulfillment Services at Wells Fargo. "They have money to go back in their pocket for their families also helps stimulate the economy."

And it's an economy that economists say is poised to take off.

"When real estate stabilizes and starts up it's time to rock and roll," said Dennis Hoffman with the W.P. Carey School of Business.

Hoffman added that employers have spent the last five years complacent.

"You know raises were few and far between," said Hoffman. "Your best people are going to be your most mobile people looking for an opportunity to move up with in their industry or switch industries."

Take Andrew White for example.  

"Presently I audit modifications," said White. "But I'm looking to get into underwriting."

Wells Fargo realizes these applicants aren't all desperate, rather they are prepared and determined.

"We're intentionally being very competitive with salaries to attract the right people," said Hill. "We have benefit packages, incentive packages so for people who want to build a career at Wells Fargo now is a great time to come down and talk to us."

The Wells Fargo job fair took place at the Phoenix Convention Center Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.