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CALLING ALL YOUTH

// Connect with employers at JobFest

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The process of job hunting can be a daunting experience, especially for young adults new to the journey of being gainfully employed. Luckily, Pierce County residents can seek some insight into the process at JobFest 2017 on Wednesday, April 19 from noon to 4 p.m. at Tacoma’s STAR Center (VIP access at 11 a.m.).
JobFest is a student- and youth-centered event hosted by WorkForce Central. With a vision to “strengthen the Pierce County economy by identifying skill gaps between jobseekers and employment opportunities, fostering data-driven decision making, and connecting workforce development partners into a cohesive, collaborative and effective network,” WorkForce Central focuses their attention on youth ages 16 to 24 with this free event.
Linda Nguyen, CEO at WorkForce Central says, "There has been a nearly 40 percent decline in youth employment over the past 12 years, a trend with dire economic and social consequences. With JobFest, we are able to partner with the business community to provide job opportunities so that our young adults can develop the skills necessary to succeed in today's world of work."
With this in mind, JobFest invites young adults to connect with employers onsite to gain insight about work opportunities and spruce up their job hunting skills. During last year’s JobFest more than 200 students and young adults sat down for interviews and at least 30 were hired on the spot. Participants who prepared ahead of time through the JobFest VIP program were the most likely to find employment during the event.
Already boasting the title of Washington state’s largest young adult career fair, the new accommodations at Tacoma’s STAR Center will allow for the event to grow even larger. More space available to accommodate more employers paired with a flourishing regional economy provides students and young adults a lucrative opportunity to gain employment with their attendance. Those who take advantage of the JobFest VIP program have increased opportunity with an extra hour to practice the interview process, draft or polish their resume and get help with their job applications if needed before the start of the event. Plus, early attendance allows them a head start in connecting with the employers onsite.
"Research shows that working young adults are more likely to finish or return to school, have a job in subsequent years and earn more money over the course of their lives. They are also less likely to engage in crime and other high-risk behaviors," Nguyen goes on to say. “Businesses that have participated in past JobFest events value the face-to-face interaction prior to hiring rather than slogging through a stack of faceless applications."
Participating companies provide a diverse variety of employment opportunities and includes: State Farm, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Funtastic Shows, ResCare HomeCare, Korean Women's Association, Metro Parks, Marshalls and Wild Waves.
Please note, it is recommended, to maximize the experience for participants that parents should not accompany their child through the event and individuals other than the youth participant should not complete registration on their behalf. The idea is to give these young adults the opportunity to gain hands on, practical experience in the process of job-hunting so they can develop necessary skills as the next generation of workers.
STAR Center is located at 3873 S. 66th St. Register at workforce-central.org/jobfest. Attendees are encouraged to register as a VIP by contacting Fatima Stutler at (253) 666-5989.

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