While the economy is on the upswing, unemployment rates for youth continue to remain high. Nationally, “Millennial” cohort has seen double-digits unemployment rates, twice the national unemployment averages for working adults (U.S. Census 2014). Close to one-fifth of Pierce County young adults are unemployed. With thousands of jobs lost through the recession and experienced workers vying for every position, young people are often the last in line for jobs. Lack of jobs and opportunity has led many discouraged young adults to leave the labor market completely, leading to an unproductive workforce. This has placed heavy burdens on not just our young adults but on our economy and on each one of us. Connecting businesses with qualified talent and putting young jobseekers on a path of employment is essential to our economic growth.
Recent signs indicate that Pierce County is moving in the right direction, but continues to face challenges. One of our greatest resources to help combat these challenges is our young people. The young are passionate, creative, and savvy, with a wealth of knowledge. Given the high employment demands and needs from many businesses, young adults can bridge the employment gap and provide much needed labor. This population can provide skills and talent in forms of volunteering, being interns, filling part-time positions, providing seasonal and summer labor.
To help Pierce County businesses connect with such talent, WorkForce Central’s JobFest 2015 provides a vital connection between classroom learning and actual on-the-job experience that matches young people’s skills and interests with employment opportunities. Joining forces like this guarantees a globally competitive workforce that will move our economy forward.
JobFest is one of the largest young adult jobs fair in Washington for age’s 16 to 24 year old job seekers to be held at that Star Center on April 14, 2015. The event provides young adults an opportunity to interact with various businesses and provides a venue for businesses to access talent from over 500 plus candidates. For Job Seekers, the event hosts several pre-event workshops to prepare them to put their best foot forward, providing insight in interview skills, interpersonal skills, and employment seeking best practices. In 2014, over 600 young adult job seekers attended the fair and networked with employers. The pre-event workshops were attended by 125 young job seekers. This resulted in many young adults getting interviews and employment with companies such as State Farm, Verizon, Starbucks, Taco Time, Office Depot and other local businesses.
For businesses, this is an excellent opportunity to find young talent and connecting with their future workforce. The event provides employers a “one-stop” experience to conduct on-site interviews, giving employers a chance to speak one-on-one with job seekers. Participation is free for businesses and an excellent way for employers to find their next hard-working and eager employees. Additionally, it provides a great networking opportunity for employers and a way to share information on their current and future career opportunities, thus connecting with the workforce of the future. JobFest is supported by many local organizations and businesses including Metro Parks Tacoma, STAR Center, Tacoma Community House, REACH, STEPS, Express Employment Professionals, General Plastics Manufacturing Co., Starbucks, Phoenix Protective Corp, CareerLink Pierce County, WorkForce Central and Tacoma Public Schools. For more information and to sign up for space at the fair, go to: www.workforce-central.org or contact John Traugott at 253.448.8285.
About WorkForce Central – WorkForce Central is the workforce development organization for Tacoma/Pierce County. It provides a pathway to employment for job seekers and is a single point of contact for businesses needing to address their talent gaps. WorkForce Central also develops and implements innovative training and business solutions to further the economic growth of the county by partnering with business, education, government, labor and community organizations.
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