Peninsula Job Fair draws employers and job seekers

Sixty employers participated in this year’s Peninsula Job Fair that counted 792 visitors last Wednesday.Now in its seventh year, according to Jackie Garcia business coordinator for the Job Center in Kenai, the event has become the largest Job Fair in the State of Alaska having out former Job Fair venues like the Soldotna Sports Center, this years event was held in the old Carr’s Mall in Kenai, “I’d like to thank all the employers for participating in this community event that is for the community and to encourage employers to hire locally,” she said.With a wide variety of opportunities available eleven employers from the oil field industry were present, six from health care related services, nine apprenticeship training agencies and the remainder represented the U.S. Military, retail, State and local government said Garcia.In an interview with the Dispatch Tabetha Toloff, Alaska Native program director for Alyeska Pipeline said, “Alaska has an aging workforce and although production is declining we are always looking at renewing our workforce and are hiring a lot of process technicians.We have about 800 jobs directly with Alyeska but we also hire twice as many at least through our contractors as well,” she said.According to Toloff Alyeska has a summer internship program that gives students a twelve to sixteen week opportunity to work in a variety of ways to learn skills and also offer scholarships to AVTEC and KPC, “We do an excellent job and have about a 95% Alaska hire workforce right now and that is our focus with our internship program which has Alaska residence preference,” said Toloff.

Jackie Garcia says there a lot of people looking for jobs locally and about 100 positions are available at the present time but that the difficulty in filling those positions is drug testing, “Being drug free is the key to finding employment and that has been a hard thing for employers because they tell me that most of their candidates for employment are failing the drug test and for some of them that is a permanent disqualification and a few others have a six month waiting period to be retested, but in the oilfield and healthcare industry you have to be drug free and the other key is to have a current skill based resume when applying for a job,” she explained.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) and the Department of Labor Workforce Development work with students to teach resume writing, completing an application, on line applications, interviewing skills, work ethics discussion and employer expectations.“This collaboration between our central peninsula high schools and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has been highly successful,” said John O’Brien, director of secondary education and student activities. “We are excited about the opportunities this has the potential to create for our juniors and seniors. Through the work of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development staff and our KPBSD counselors, our students were well prepared for the Peninsula job fair.”KPBSD students who attended signed-up through their school counselor and transportation was provided by KPBSD.

For more information about employment or resume writing assistance opportunities on the Peninsula contact the Peninsula Job Center at 907-283-2914.