Hundreds attend Parkrose ‘Job Fair’

Discover why many people said they have renewed hope for gainful employment, after attending this special event …

Hundreds of outer East Portland employment seekers come through the doors of the Mt. Hood Community College Maywood Park Campus, to attend the Community Job Fair.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The parking lots were full, and street parking was scarce, in and around the Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) Maywood Park Campus on March 5 – as the school held a “Community Job Fair”.

The focus of the fair was helping GED and ESL students to meet area employers, explained MHCC Academic Group Advisor Bhaktirose Dawdy.

Historic Parkrose Revitalization Manager Bridget Bayer, MHCC Academic Group Adviser Bhaktirose Dawdy, and MHCC Employer Partnership Coordinator Susan Spencer, all take a break during the Parkrose Community Job Fair.

“It’s a collaboration between the college, Worksource Portland Metro East, Historic Parkrose [a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative district], and the Parkrose Business Association,” Dawdy told East Portland News.

“We’ve talked about having a job fair and career fair at the Maywood Park campus for some time,” Dawdy said. “And, with the help of Historic Parkrose, and our other partner organizations, we are now able to bring good energy to the neighborhood, and have more job opportunities available through this fair.”

In the lobby, managers with Standard TV & Appliance tell about their company, and accept job applications.

The event would have flopped if employers had stayed away. But, 30 employer representatives set up tables – including Standard TV & Appliance, Parkrose Hardware, Elmer’s Restaurant, Goodwill, Leatherman’s Tool Group, Holiday Inn, and Begin Right Employment Services.

Additionally, ten organizations that provide resources for people looking jobs also tabled at the event. Workforce programs, and career and job skills providers helped applicants make copies of their resumes, and coached applicants with interview tips.

Job seekers mingle with employers in classrooms where employers meet with them.

“This Job Fair is exceeding our expectations,” Dawdy commented. “That is, having people get good jobs with good wages and good benefits.”

In the end, more than 550 job seekers attended the fair, with at least 40% coming directly from the Parkrose community.

“This is a wonderful turnout,” observed MHCC Employer Partnership Coordinator Susan Spencer. “We have some great employers here, meeting with our very diverse student and community population.”

Alma Herrera of Rose City Recycling speaks with job seeker Alfred Ada.

One applicant talking with recruiters at the event was Alfred Ada, who said he’d recently moved to the area from Saipan. “This is a very good resource.

“This is something that I have been looking for,” Ada continued. “We are hopeful that I can get employment out of contacts I’ve made here today. We moved here in December and have been actively looking for a job. We hope to make that dream come true.”

Historic Parkrose Revitalization Manager Bridget Bayer commented, “We’ve put a lot of energy into working with our community groups, as well as supporting our established businesses and welcoming new firms. This job fair is like the ‘third leg of a stool’, being able to offer good jobs to people who live here in our community.”

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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