Students, not employers, will be on display at reverse-job fair

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 4/10/19

FLEMING ISLAND – Local Clay County students will soon attend a job fair – but not the kind of job fair most are familiar with.

Rather than attending an event with resumes in hand, employers …

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Students, not employers, will be on display at reverse-job fair

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – Local Clay County students will soon attend a job fair – but not the kind of job fair most are familiar with.

Rather than attending an event with resumes in hand, employers will instead attend this job fair with applications in hand. That’s because this job fair isn’t a standard job fair. It’s as a reverse-job fair.

“Basically, a reverse-job fair is where the tables are flipped,” Atheia Inman of CareerSource, the company hosting this job fair, said. “Job seekers give potential employers presentations where they can showcase their skills and talents, and the employers have the opportunity to walk around the booths to decide on which job seekers they’re interested in.”

According to Inman, traditionally, job fairs would see employers with booths and signage posted in an event space, with job seekers walking from booth to booth hoping to catch the eye of their would-be boss. At this reverse job-fair, which is being held on Monday at the Fleming Island Library, it’s the students who will have the booths and signage.

The benefit of the employers is that they’ll have the opportunity to connect with these students in a way that they often wouldn’t be able to at a traditional job fair, said Inman. These employers can be at the fair for five minutes or for an hour. They can walk out with a new employee – or five.

“It’s all up to the employers,” Inman said. “It’s an informal way for an employer to meet job seekers and see if they’d work best for the work [the employers] do.”

The reverse-job fair isn’t just for anybody. It’s been specifically set up with the Clay County School District. Each student at the fair has undergone nearly a year of internship training.

“We have a group of students who have interned at Kindred Hospital in Green Cove Springs to be highlighted,” Janet Wantage, the Transition Liaison Specialist for the Clay County School District, who helped set up the reverse-job fair, said. “They’ve been training for this all year. They’ve each done three rotations through the hospital.”

According to Wantage, each intern rotated through three different departments depending on their career goals and skill sets. Some of the departments they may have worked were in culinary, environmental, planning operations, purchasing and medical records.

These departments will go a long way to help these students potentially obtain jobs at the reverse job fair. More than 100 invitations to local businesses were sent out so if all goes according to plan, these students might be presenting their resumes to 100 businesses. Some of the businesses include Florida Blue and Marriott Hotels, Wantage said.

While this will be the first job-reverse fair for CareerSource and the Clay County School District, Wantage is hopeful of the success these students and employers will find.

“This is the first time we’re doing this,” Wantage said. “This is a new step were implementing so we’ll have to see how it goes, but I think we’ve got a great group of job seekers that some employers will be lucky to hire.”

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