Tulare high school students seek job opportunities in job fair

Tulare Joint Union High School District works in partnership with Tulare County Workforce Investment Board, broadens horizons for high school seniors with job fair

TULARE – High school seniors who plan to stay in the Tulare area after graduation will be given the opportunity to practice their skills and apply for jobs at a locally tailored job fair.

The fair will be held at the Tulare Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 24, and the district anticipates a turn out of around 200 students. There will be a variety of employment opportunities for students to take advantage of. The district’s assistant superintendent of student services and special projects Maria Bueno said she is excited for this opportunity. It offers students one last opportunity to find a place in the community before they graduate.

“We’re really excited that our community comes together. It’s a win-win for our students and for our community,” Bueno said. “Students keep continuing their experiences and their education and that’s what’s important.”

The job fair is put on in partnership with the county’s workforce investment board (WIB). Bueno said they are the ones who pull the community together to bring in different job opportunities for students. Last year the fair had around 25 different vendors and this year there are expected to be just as many if not more. The companies who chose to advertise themselves are community members who also want to make a difference.

“The more education, the more skills [students] can attain, the better and more opportunity for them financially for themselves and their families,” Bueno said.

This event has been advertised to their students for some time and they even held a preparatory workshop on May 5. The workshop included resume building, how to dress for success, interviewing skills as well as a section on financial literacy.

“A lot of these kids that I’ve interviewed are like ‘yeah we kind of needed [preparation], now I need a job,’ with the hardships at home, with the inflation,” Bueno said. “And many of them do just want that hands-on experience, or get a promotion of the current skills that they have.”

Though Bueno does not have the completed list of vendors yet, she said there will be a wide variety of retail shops including several from the outlet mall, like Banana Republic. In addition to retail, Galaxy Theater always hires several high school students each year, as well as other places like Rosa Brothers will also be in attendance. Other opportunities will include the county’s Health and Human Services Agency which was there last year as well as Community Services Employment Training (CSET).

Bueno said in addition to job opportunities, there will be a handful of local junior colleges in attendance as well. Schools like College of the Sequoias and West Hills Community College will be there to offer students a last minute opportunity to register for classes. Though the district tries hard to get all their students to a place where they are college and career ready before graduation, some students still miss those opportunities. The adult school will also be in attendance as well as Army recruiters. Hosting this job fair late in the year helps fill some of those gaps and catch some of the students who may have fallen through the cracks.

“We want to provide a last opportunity for our students,” Bueno said. “So that they can continue their education and for those students that just fell through the cracks and kind of didn’t want to go to school and maybe had a change of heart.”

Students have pre-registered for the job fair and the district is also transporting students to the event. Superintendent Lucy Van Scyoc said that last year students were hired on the spot. The job fair provides students the perfect opportunity to not only find a job they like or something new they are interested in, but also gain some real world experience in what it is like to try and find a job.

“We do a lot to get kids prepared for college, but then there’s some kids that may not go directly off to college, or maybe college isn’t even the route they’re going to take,” Van Scyoc said. “So we want to make sure we connect those students, especially the students who stay in Tulare right? We live here, we want to make sure that they’re able to get a job.”

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