Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Annual Youth Hiring Fair a hit with jobseekers

An estimated line-up of more than 1,000 youth were eager to put their best foot forward with employers this afternoon for the 18th Annual Youth Hiring Fair.

Located at the Big Four Building on Stampede Park, the annual fair was organized by The City of Calgary’s Youth Employment Centre (YEC). The event was free and open to all youth aged 15-24.

Large turnout not a surprise

In talking with City officials, they weren’t surprised by this year’s large turnout given the current economic downturn in Alberta.

While at the fair, I spoke with Jennifer Gee, a community relations liaison with YEC. Jennifer mentioned that there were some early indicators this year’s event might have a higher number of attendees. For her, one of the biggest signs was the steady stream of job seekers stopping by the YEC office for tips on how to make a positive first impression with employers.

Landing a job

Many youth who came prepared saw their efforts pay off.

Brianna Martell
One of the first individuals I met who made some initial job connections at the event was 21-year-old Brianna Martell from Windsor Park.

Brianna’s job searching strategy was to cast a wide net. She made the rounds visiting with Casino Calgary, Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, 7-11, McDonald’s, Hi-Flyer Food and Denny’s. She introduced herself to the recruiters, filled out a few applications and is hoping to hear back from some of the employers in the coming weeks.

Employers impressed with quality of applicants

Despite the economic downturn it’s clear that companies are still looking to hire qualified candidates. This year’s event had more than 80 employers offering a variety of full-time, part-time and seasonal openings.

As I walked through the Big Four Building, I had an opportunity to visit with Talia Benson a numbers and culture coordinator with Fiasco Gelato.

Talia Benson
Talia was quite impressed with the experience and enthusiasm of the candidates she spoke to. She said for companies like Fiasco Gelato, it’s not every day they get to fill a large portion of their hiring needs in one afternoon.

She views it as a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Missed out on this year’s fair?

If you weren’t able to make it to this year’s fair, be sure to visit the YEC office located on the second floor of the Alberta Trade Centre building (315 - 10th Avenue S.E.).

They have a variety of employment counseling and training programs to help put you on the path towards starting your career.

Submitted by Eric Michalko, Calgary Neighbourhoods

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