Jamestown Career Fair Brings Jobs Galore
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An overwhelming crowd of students and adults flooded into the auxiliary gym to attend the first Jamestown Career Fair. On Thursday, April 15, close to 20 businesses from around Hampton Roads clustered in the gym with one goal: to encourage and give high school students opportunities for a job this summer or for one after high school.
Both Jamestown counselors and local employers hope to open student’s eyes to the real world that is available to them in the near future. “The job fair at Jamestown is a great way to connect students to employers in a school environment,” LandTech Resources Director of Human Resources and Marketing Lisa Ownby said. “As employers, we help students receive real life college experiences and help them understand how many options there really are after high school.”
This year was a test run because it is the first year Jamestown has held this event. In order to attract students to the gym, sponsors provided an incentive titled “Career Cash,” which consisted of paper money that could be collected at each booth and in turn be given to the Career Fair Bank to have a chance to win a prize.
The booths ranged from lifeguarding opportunities at Water Country U.S.A. and local pools, to the Air National Guard, to medical careers, among others. “The career fair introduced me to countless fields of careers I had not thought about before,” said junior Malik Smith.
A planning committee consisting of members from James City County economic development, Thomas Nelson Community College, Williamsburg James City County Schools, and the lead guidance counselors worked to set up and plan the career fair. They then sent out a survey to businesses to gage participation interest. “We did all of the on- site coordination,” said Jamestown counselor Jessica Switzer, who was part of the planning committee.
The goal of the career fair is to try and prepare students for the workforce and offer job opportunities during and after high school. “We are trying to expose as many students to as many careers as we can,” said the Senior Director of School Performance Valerie Dipaola.
The career fair was a wild success. A number of businesses were able to expose themselves to a wide variety of students. Now as time goes on the only question will be is how many students were able to receive jobs, or even careers.
“If these jobs could help me in the future then I definitely will look into them,” said junior Julia Maggio. She is among many participants who saw the career fair as an avenue to future successes. Students who have gathered information from businesses can continue to follow up and pursue job opportunities.