Kimi Fehrer of Sterling gets resume help from Susan Novak while Myra Keeney works at a computer during the Kenai Peninsula Job Fair help Friday at the Kenai Mall.
Photo by Joseph Robertia
The fair returned to Kenai on Friday, but there were no corn dogs or cotton candy sold. Instead there were resumes and references being handed out at the Kenai Peninsula Job Fair the biggest annual employee recruitment event on the peninsula.
This year’s fair lived up to that moniker as several hundred people made their way to the Kenai Mall for the event.
“I think this will be the biggest turnout yet. We had people lined up out front before we even opened the doors,” said Diana Spann, regional manager for the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Job-seekers came to meet with the more than 50 employers that were on hand to provide information, interviews and, in some cases, hire people on the spot.
This year’s event featured the return of educational panels on a variety of industries including oil, gas and mining, health care, emergency medical services and criminal justice.
There was also a panel on apprenticeships, which Spann said was a welcome addition to the fair.
“It’s real-life examples,” Spann said. “People, professionals in their field, come and talk about how they got their job, what is needed such as college or certifications, and what it takes to succeed once hired.”
While some attended the panels, others sought help writing resumes and developing cover letters.
“I have a job and a resume, but I wanted to get help updating it. Sometimes it can make a big difference changing one or two words to make (a resume) sound more professional. This was very helpful,” said Kimi Fehrer of Sterling.
Although Fehrer wasn’t there to land a job, many others did attend to find work, and were dressed for the occasion in their best boardroom attire, and carrying their resumes and portfolios in hand.
“I came prepared and with a positive attitude, because I know that’s what I would look for in an employee if I was in the position to be hiring,” said Myra “Tootie” Keeney of Kenai.
Some folks weren’t entirely sure what they wanted to do for a living, though. They were there testing the waters of the workplace hoping something would pique their interest.
“I’m just looking for something that pays,” said Dean Sutton of Soldotna.
Others had a better idea of what they wanted to do and came hoping to find employment that might be similar to their interests.
“I’m really interested in aerospace engineering, but there’s not a lot of jobs like that here. It’s mostly oil and gas, construction, stuff like that, with a few (general) engineering jobs here and there,” said Logan Hutchings of Soldotna.
Despite not finding representation from the exact career he wanted, Hutchings said it was helpful to have so many employers in one place at one time, so he at least knew what his options in the area are. Others felt the same way.
“This is really great,” said Kelly Blucher of Kenai. “It’s really helpful to have all these employers here, rather than me having to travel all over the peninsula to visit them individually.”
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