The 22nd Fort Worth ISD Hiring Fair brought together over 100 businesses, dozens of volunteers and many prospective employees from the recent graduating classes of Fort Worth schools.
The fair was held from 12-4 p.m. on June 11 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center Exhibit Hall.
From the time they arrived to the time they left, the recent graduates had the opportunity to explore to a number of resources, mainly prospective employers who set up tables at Will Rogers.
Alma Charles is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director for Fort Worth ISD. She said that the over 100 businesses present represented a wide range of interests.
“We try to ensure the students have the opportunity to interview in areas they have studied,” she said.
She said that Fort Worth ISD offers 50 types of programs, ranging from aviation to welding. Students who participate in the programs begin in 9th grade and follow a “coherent sequence of courses,” Charles said.
Students begin with principles classes then progress to actual field studies and internships. Charles added that for any industry that requires certification, Fort Worth ISD will pay for the test.
Upon arriving at the hiring fair, students went to an orientation session. The session described what the process would be like, and leaders offered tips to help students make the most of the experience.
Many local businesses partnered with the hiring fair to provide additional services for students.
Judy Shannon is the Director of Agency Relations with VolunteerNow, a non-profit that provides appropriate professional attire for the students. Ladies could choose from a selection of dresses and blouses and men could pick out formal shirts and ties. The students could keep the items upon leaving.
Toni Guy stylists also volunteered on-site to offer hair and make-up touch-ups free of charge for the students.
The Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains sponsored an area specifically for resumes. Several volunteers sat at tables to help students create or revise their resumes. Each student could then print ten copies.
Charles said volunteers also help with setting up professional and appropriate email accounts for the students.
A new addition to the fair this year was a waiting area for parents, Charles said. Tarrant County College and the Education Opportunity Center were present to provide parents with information on attending and financing college.
In the main networking room, around 100 businesses had representatives at tables waiting to speak with students.
Marciela Arellano was there from the Hilton DFW Hotels. She said it was her first time at the event, but she came prepared.
“I think it really helps to have displays,” she said. “The more goodies you have, the more applicants you attract.”
Many tables had displays, from the Marine Corps to Taco Bell.
Prospective employees could walk around and speak with representatives from the different companies to learn more about part-time and full-time positions.
Some recent graduates in line to enter the main room said they were excited for the opportunity.
“It is cool to have the companies all in one place,” said Dominic Taylor, a recent Fort Worth ISD graduate.
According to a newsletter sent out by Fort Worth ISD, the fair has been recognized for two decades as one of the largest employer-attended job fairs in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
Partners for Hiring Fair 2015 included the Fort Worth Chamber, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, VolunteerNow and Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County.
To learn more about the hiring fair or become a partner, visit www.FortWorthISD.org and search “hiring fair.”