With the end of the school year and summer fast approaching, the time was ripe for a teen job fair. The fair attracted over 100 energetic youths hoping to gain the coveted title of ‘working’ this summer.
The young men and women came appropriately dressed in suits, ties, skirts and dresses. Best of all, they had their resumes, smiles and confidence on display.
There were approximately ten vendors and they were all hiring! Best of all, they were local businesses which youths who do get employed can easily travel to either by walking or public transportation.
Among the vendors were Applebees-Long Island, Pathmark, Bath and Body Works, Verizon, Direct TV, Camp Kingdom, The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and Subway Restaurant.
At a time when most candidates fill out an online job application at a kiosk and are blind to the process, the personal interaction of the fair was a plus. The personal touch in the employment process is what made teens present at the fair give it a resounding thumbs up. Brianna Cross, hoping to get a job at Bath and Body Works, spoke about the fair giving her more of a chance to showcase her “personality”.
It was evident the personal interaction worked. Several vendors, having seen the candidates, knew which ones would be best suited for a position. Having met Desmond R*, the representative from Pathmark on Springfield Boulevard felt, with his age and demeanor, he would be best for a job in maintenance. Desmond was advised to fill out the application online and the representative made note of the potential candidate. Pathmark had openings for cashiers and in their produce and deli departments.
Subway, located on Merrick Boulevard, was hiring for sandwich artists and pleased with the candidates at the fair. In the estimation of the mother and son owners, candidates that did the best were those that looked prepared, had a resume and some experience.
Applebee’s Long Island, accepted applications only and had openings for hostess, bartenders and their to-go staff. Verizon did some pre-interviews for their sales and marketing positions. They wanted to ensure that the candidates knew what to expect from the position and had a means to travel for the job.
Principal Gordon, whose school was the site of the fair, thought it was a great idea. “Our kids get turned down and disappointed and that’s why they give up,” he said. “This is another step of encouragement”.
The students all felt optimistic that they would get employment as a result of the fair.
The long list of vendors was due to the efforts of law office intern Jessica Douglas. She put in a yeoman’s effort of walking into area businesses, talking with store managers/owner to ensure they were looking to hire. As the economy begins to show signs of rebounding, connecting area business to local candidates, particularly in areas of high unemployment, has benefits all around.
The fair was held on Friday, May 17th at I.S. 59 in Springfield Gardens and hosted by the Law Offices of Jacques Leandre, Local Development Corporation of Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens, Our Brothers Guardian Inc. and Misunderstood Youth Development Center.