Hundreds check out career opportunities at Kenai Peninsula Job Fair at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The Peninsula Job Fair has become known as a well- planned and promoted opportunity for job seekers and recruiters alike, but this year’s event far surpassed the organizers expectations, according to Melinda Gates with the Alaska Department of Labor, “It was absolutely overwhelming. We’re ecstatic with the turnout. We knew that we would have fifty employers here today, but the overwhelming response from the community has been phenomenal and we are thrilled,” said Gates. She attributed the response to both those seeking careers and businesses looking for employees. “We’ve had some very qualified job seekers come here today with resumes and applications in hand, dressed up looking professional and came here looking for a position. About an hour after we opened, one young lady walked out and she had [found] a job already and had been hired on the spot. That is our measure of success for this event,” added Gates.
The winners of the "Jobs are Alaska's future" art contest. From right to left: Camille Bundy, first place, Coby McKiernan, second place, and Landon Beatty, third place.
The Peninsula Clarion in cooperation with the Peninsula Job Center sponsored an art contest for area high school juniors and seniors, promoting the theme “Jobs are Alaska’s Future.” The Grand Prize winner was Camille Bundy who received an Ipod Nano. Camille’s winning poster was used in the advertising for the Job Fair. Taking second place and receiving a 2 GB Flash drive, was Coby McKeirnan. The third place winner of a $25 gift certificate from Blockbuster Video was Landon Beatty. All 3 winning students are from Kenai Alternative High School.
The Peninsula Job Fair entails a lot of preparation that began last fall, “The Peninsula Clarion is a fantastic supporter and sponsor of the event along with the Job Center and the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. They are great people to work with on an event that takes a lot of [work.] Preparation and planning started last September with the forming of a committee that met monthly. Then, as we got down to the wire we were meeting weekly with a lot of e-mails and phone calls to get all the “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed,” said Gates.
The fifty employers that gathered at the Soldotna Sports Center represented a cross section of career opportunities ranging from journalism to law enforcement, broadcasting to armed services, and herb sales to fast food service. Dennis with McDonald’s said, “We’re here to hire employees and share the McDonald’s opportunity. Take myself for example, I started out as a crew person and after a couple of years worked my way to become manager of the Soldotna store. It didn’t require a secondary degree, but if you stick with it you can earn a degree in hamburgerology.”
Right next to the McDonald’s booth was Fred Loren with Primerica of Citigroup,.“We help people reduce their liabilities so they can create money to save to put into assets and raise their net worth. We are expanding throughout the State of Alaska and especially Soldotna and Homer, so the Job Fair has provided good exposure for us and we’ve met some great local talent here today and that’s exactly what we’re looking for,” said Loren.
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