By McKibben Jackinsky
From exploring a career to actually finding a job, the Homer College, Career and Job Fair has the bases covered.
“Everybody is encouraged to attend,” said Kim Frost, student and enrollment services coordinator for Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College-University of Alaska Anchorage. “There is something for everyone.”
The event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at Kachemak Bay Campus on Pioneer Ave. It is sponsored by a community partnership that includes KBC, Homer Job Center and the Alaska Department of Labor, Project GRAD, Youth Job Training Program,
Homer area high schools and the Homer News.
“It’s a community partnership that’s pretty steady and that’s the exciting thing. We all work really well together, so it lets us put on a better fair because we are able to come together with so many different points of view and connections,” said Frost. “We can bring it all together.”
High school students in grades nine through 12, as well as adults, will have opportunities to speak with college and job representatives.
“There also is lots available for the adults in the community who might want to change their career paths or get back to work after a break of some kind,” said Frost. “There’s also employers looking to hire people, so come dressed for an interview and bring your resume.”
Help with creating an effective resume will be offered, as well as opportunities to brush up on interview skills.
“We as Americans are trained not to brag about ourselves, so we’re often uncomfortable writing a whole paper on why we’re better than everybody else, but it’s something required for this process,” said Frost.
Scheduled presentations begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue through the fair. They offer additional information on specific training and educational programs, as well as insights into what employers are looking for and how to pay for college.
“If someone can’t make it at the time of the presentation they want, that’s OK. The people will be at a table for the rest of the fair so you can get the information you need,” said Frost.
As in past years, representatives from the Student Conservation Association will be present, recruiting high school juniors and seniors for summertime employment.
“They’ve got 60-80 summer jobs for things like building trails,” said Frost.
In addition to Homer high school students, Project GRAD is bringing students from Nikolaevsk, Voznesenka, Razdolna, Kachemak Selo, Seldovia, Port Graham and Nanwalek.
“It’s great because they are connecting with other students from other schools and also possibly with future employers,” said Mike Peterson, executive director of Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula.
“They’re learning in the various sessions how to further their education. And they also are learning the soft skills of talking to future employers and networking, which is sometimes hard to do in their own communities. It’s great to get them out, practicing shaking hands and saying hello.”
Beginning its 11th year on the Kenai Peninsula, Project GRAD is a nonprofit school improvement program. In 10 years working with peninsula schools, the program has awarded 100 scholarships totaling $400,000, with the majority of the students continuing their education at University of Alaska Anchorage campuses and AVTEC in Seward.
While hiring statistics specific to the fair aren’t available, Frost said the feedback from employers has been positive.
“It’s all just word of mouth, but employers come back year after year so we believe it’s beneficial for them, as well as for the community,” said Frost.
“I think the best feedback also is when you see these kids in college or have a job as a result of this career fair,” said Peterson.
For the Homer College, Career and Job Fair schedule, visit kpb.alaska.edu/KBC/
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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