Local employers got a jump-start on hiring summer students by attending the second annual Reverse Job Fair last Wednesday evening.
After weeks of work-readiness training received through Career Edge, more than 20 Youth Job Connection Summer (YJCS) participants created booths to showcase their interests, skills and experience at. The job fair took place on Wednesday, May 22nd in the City of Quinte West. The Reverse Job Fair is a way for YJCS participants to push out of their comfort zone and attract employers – a unique way for employers to find potential hires and for students to practice on-the-spot interview skills.
Kameel Sharma is the Youth Employment Counsellor at Career Edge in Trenton, and facilitates the YJC Summer program. She spent several weeks working with 15-18 year-old students to give them the work-readiness training they need to secure employment.
“The most rewarding part of what I do is seeing the students truly grow as job-seekers. When they start workshops, they learn skills that will help them in their future careers, but most importantly, make them a more engaged and confident person,” she said. “Hosting an event like the Reverse Job Fair gives them the opportunity to showcase their skills, interests and personal growth and is such a feel-good event for our team. We get to see the students flourish. Even though I provide them with support through their training and into employment, it’s really their dedication that helps them achieve their goals.”
Two of the employers who came to support the students ended up hiring a few on the spot. Lorraine Blakely,
Owner and Manager of the Trenton Freshco, said she was very impressed with the students and how prepared they were.
“I was able to secure three students for the summer and for the future. The students displayed their personal interests and were prepared to answer questions. I was so impressed by Career Edge and the set up they did to help the employers find new employees.”
Jennifer Vickers, who alongside her husband calls themselves the “Odd Jobs Couple” came to the event to recruit a few students for summer jobs.
“As potential employers, we felt the Reverse Job Fair was an excellent idea! It should definitely be done more often.”
Several local businesses generously donated products or gift certificates for door prizes, as well, which were well-received by two employers in attendance.