Students and job seekers in the community donned their business-professional attire Wednesday and mingled with more than 60 potential employers.
For the first time in six years, Lanier Technical College hosted a career fair on its Oakwood campus. Companies and agencies including Target, Carter’s Oshkosh, Northeast Georgia Health System, the Oaks at Braselton, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department, Storm Wood Technologies and many more were on hand to meet potential applicants.
“Students have come out in droves, so that’s great,” said Katrina Gray with Kubota human resources. “We’ve had a variety of majors stopping by, everything from dental assisting to industrial systems and welders.”
Pam Mobley, registered nurse administrator for Stay at Home of Northeast Georgia, called the fair “awesome” and said she was encouraged to see a lot of people stop by who are interested in the job she’s looking to fill. She said she received a large number of resumes and people filling out applications online.
Malissa Lawrence, career services specialist at Lanier Tech, said more than 400 people attended the fair. It was so successful, she said, Lanier Tech officials hope to host another next fall.
“We’re looking at making this an annual event,” she said. “In the spring, we’ll do one at one of our other campuses. We’re going to host one in Cumming, but we’re looking at making the one here an annual event each fall.”
The economic downturn of 2008 made jobs scarce and fairs hard to fill, according to Lawrence, accounting for the six-year absence of job fairs on the campus.
Amy Bowden, a Lanier Tech student studying to become a medical assistant, attended the fair to see what jobs are available. She said she was interested in part-time jobs to get through the winter and in seeing what jobs are available for the future.
The career fair was an important asset to Bowden and her fellow students, she said, as well as anyone in the community needing a job.
“For one thing, it makes me hopeful that there’s going to be employment after finishing school,” Bowden said. “Not only that, it gives you the resources so that, if you know someone who needs a job or if you’re a student here, you can come in and get applications and brochures and just take them home or to someone who might need a job.”
Gray said career fairs in general are important for employers because they help introduce a company to the local community.
“It also helps establish a local workforce, which is great for the community,” she said.
Lawrence said the career fair helped employers and applicants connect face to face, something Mobley said was important for her and her company.
“This is huge because it opens the door and we are connecting,” Mobley said. “We haven’t been able to connect with people who are looking for jobs and it’s hard to know if they are a fit or not from a piece of paper. I would never be able to find these people without coming to a job fair like this.”