Dozens of professionals had the opportunity to speak to students during the Delaware Area Career Center’s Part-Time Job Fair held Wednesday.
The event was the first of its kind at the DACC since the pandemic started. Career Readiness Coordinator Lisa-Marie Reinhart said she reached out to the schools’ business partners to see if any were interested in attending, and she was overwhelmed by the response.
“Within 24 hours, our 35 spots filled,” Reinhart said. “People were reaching out asking for a waiting list. We have a good variety of industries. There’s a vast array of opportunities that are out there with local companies.”
Reinhart said job fairs benefit students and business partners.
“It’s important for students just to experience a job fair for soft-skill development,” Reinhart said. “(They can practice) introducing themselves, talking about themselves or having the comfort level of asking the company (questions). Several companies want to hire students for internships.”
Reinhart said this fair was focused on part-time positions with flexible hours, but she plans to hold a full-time job fair later in the school year.
“One of our missions is to connect students with business and industry partners for employment opportunities,” Reinhart said. “Business and industry are super interested in connecting with our students for workforce development. We’re hoping to offer a full-time position fair in second semester.”
Janis Frey, chief human resources officer at Willow Brook Christian Communities, said she was excited to attend the fair.
“We have a good relationship with the Delaware Area Career Center, and we wanted to inform students of the opportunities that we have,” Frey said. “We got to meet some students and share with them what we have available and what we have to offer. I hope they get a better understanding of what we offer and the services we provide to the community.”
Frey said Willow Brook specifically seeks to work with health care and culinary students.
“I hope they have a further connection with us after the event,” Frey said. “We appreciate DACC. They offer a very positive, needed service in our community.”
Matt Innes, a turf manager at Meyers Green Services Inc., was at the career fair and said he hoped to convey how many opportunities are available in the landscaping business.
“I’m hoping to introduce younger generations to the landscape industry,” Innes said. “The skills industry is struggling right now because not a lot of kids really want to go that way.”
Innes said he has had many interns from the DACC, and he hopes to continue the partnership.
“They’ll work for us for a couple months. They’ll shadow me, and I’ll take them through the processes of the business,” Innes said. “Normally they want to start their own business, but they want to get the knowledge. They work with me until they feel they really have a grasp on the industry and the ins and outs. I still talk to all the student who interned with me. They still call me once in awhile and ask me questions. I try to help them even though technically, they are my competition. It’s a thriving industry. There’s a lot of money to be made, and I don’t think students understand that.”
Bryce Krietemeyer, a senior from Thomas-Worthington High School studying engineering at the DACC, said he enjoyed the variety at the fair.
“I’ve enjoyed being able to have quick access to multiple companies,” Krietemeyer said. “I don’t have to travel all over Columbus. I’m hoping to get more understanding of what companies are around.”
Krietemeyer said he’s looking forward to doing an internship next semester, and he added the fair provides him an opportunity to find one.
“The next half of the year we have the ability to go out and work and see if that’s something we want to do,” Krietemeyer said. “If you find that industry (you like and) focus in, you can be very successful.”
Lauren Stoutenburg, a Olentangy Liberty High School senior studying health technology at the DACC, said she was looking forward to networking at the event.
“Wednesday and Friday are days to do job placement, so we have a lot of opportunities to get in contact and network with these professionals and get to know what it’s like in their nursing communities,” Stoutenburg said. “(This fair) is really cool. It’s cool to see what other people are doing too because we’re so focused on what we’re doing. A big thing I’m trying to push is that you have to network. In the health care community it’s who you know. This is a really good experience.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.