Jobs by the hundreds exposed in Maywood Park

See how this ‘Job Fair’ connected hundreds of eager outer East Portland job-seekers with dozens of employers …

Greeters welcome job-seekers at the 2016 Parkrose Community Job Fair.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Last year, officials from Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) thought they did well when two dozen area employers came for a “job fair” at their Maywood Park campus, offering jobs to more than 500 job-seekers. But this year they did better.

Now an annual event, the second job fair in Maywood Park was even more successful. The 2016 edition, held on March 10, attracted more than 50 employers who visited with 520 job applicants — from the unemployed to those looking for a better job, or a career.

MHCC Career Services Coordinator Bhaktirose Dawdy spends a moment with MHCC’s mascot Barney Bernard, as well as Historic Parkrose AmeriCorps member Kate Coenen.

“We created the Parkrose Community Job Fair to serve the greater community of potential employees and the employers who are currently hiring for both entry-level, and career-level, positions,” smiled Mt. Hood Community College Career Services Coordinator Bhaktirose Dawdy.

“With so many employers participating this year, we’ve taken over six classrooms,” Dawdy told East Portland News.

In room after room, potential employees meet possibly their next employer, during the job fair.

“With more employers – about 20 more than last year – we have great employment opportunities – good jobs with good benefits, and opportunities for advancement,” Dawdy said.

“We also have information here about our college programs, so if job seekers are interested, when they apply for a job at a company, we can help them figure out what degrees and certificates they need to get those jobs,” Dawdy added.

Wells Fargo Bank recruiters Austin Walgraeve and Muny Darrigan speak with MHCC student Sonya Lerma.

Activity swirls around the table of Volt Workforce Solutions’ Lead Recruiter Andrea Lennox.

Typically, each employer represented at the job fair has anywhere from five job openings to as many as 200, Dawdy mentioned. “We also have the City of Portland here today, as well as nonprofit organizations. So, a job-seeker coming here has the opportunity to look at hundreds of open positions that are available to them.”

The demand for table space by employers was so great this year that the college had to turn some of them away. “We didn’t have enough space to accommodate them all,” Dawdy said. “If we are able to pass the [Mt. Hood Community College 2016 Bond] measure, we’ll have a whole new campus, providing space to host a much larger event than we can do here at this campus.”

Jobs, in a wide variety of fields, are presented to potential employees at the job fair.

Theresa McKinnon, a job-seeker attending the fair, said she’d come because she had recently been laid off. “I’m surprised by the number of employers here today,” she said.

“More than that, these are high-quality companies that I recognize in our community! I’ve applied for three positions, and I think my future looks pretty good now.”

Brooks & Associates Staffing Specialist Kenyatta Trice says she’s been meeting high-quality job candidates.

After the job expo had ended, Dawdy remarked that the college considered this year’s Parkrose Community Job Fair to be “hugely successful. The employers were happy, because it was really well attended. And, on the way out, participants said they scheduled interviews.”

Look for their next event tentatively set for March 21, 2017. For more information on Career Center programs, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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