Students make connections at career fair

Clackamas Community College’s annual career fair was held on Tuesday, April 17. This event provides opportunities for students to connect with potential employers and gather information on various different career pathways.

Fifty-three employers and 282 attendees crowded Gregory Forum, ranging from students, to employers, community members and even CCC faculty.

Larger organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Boeing Aerospace and Columbia Sportswear hosted booths; lining the walls, booths ranged from food service, manufacturing, public service, non-profit work and aquatic parks, among others. Several of these booths described themselves as being community-oriented in the services they provide.

The mission of the CCC career fair is to “help students see what the job market looks like and see what kinds of jobs are out there,” said MFS representative Emily Broadwell.

The Metropolitan Family Service is a non-profit organization, engaging in activities like after school programs, and skill classes for the community such as cooking; MFS is dedicated to helping the underprivileged in the community.

Most of the funding for MFS comes from grants, foundations and federal funding. MFS is currently looking for employees that are personable, patient and have a heart for helping.

The career fair is important in connecting people with jobs, especially jobs at living wage, said Kyle Popma, a representative from Boeing Aerospace. Potential employers will go a long way to find employees, so venues like the career fair are useful tools for businesses of all kinds.

Oregon’s unemployment rate as of March 2018 is 4.1 percent, so even providing information about changing careers can be important to people attending.

Employers came from as far as Washington to encourage students to join their companies.

Josh Udermann came from the Woodburn Aquatic Center to speak with potential employees.

Pat Garrett, a Washington County sheriff, attended to encourage junior deputies to “graduate” to being an official deputy.

The career fair is nonprofit event; the proceeds from exhibitors renting booths going towards promoting the event. Any profit made is sent to supplement student programs.

The event helps businesses connect with the college as well as students, and some organizations send employees to train as CCC programs and promote educational aspirations among the employees, said Kyle Thomas, CCC’s Student Support and Career Coordinator.

“[We] would need to engage students more and make them aware of the event and why it’s important,” Thomas said. “To explore careers [through] beneficial networking, which is important.”

The career fair is usually an annual event, but can happen multiple times in one year. CCC is currently working on a fall career fair, said Thomas.

Registration for the Fall career fair is open to applicants.

News Editor Jeanette Wright contributed to this story.

Representatives Emily Broadwell and Nghia Huynh hosting the booth for Metropolitan Family Service at CCC’s annual career fair. Photo by Greyson Mbock.