Li­brary hosts job fair geared to young adults

Area em­ploy­ers look to at­tract fresh tal­ent

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­

On Wed­nes­day, more than 200 young adults from Charles County had their re­sumes in hand, busi­ness at­tire on and smiles on their faces as they pre­pared to meet var­i­ous Mary­land em­ploy­ers at the Charles County Pub­lic Li­brary’s Young Adult Job Fair.

Young adults ages 16-24 years old flooded into the Wal­dorf West Li­brary dur­ing the af­ter­noon for an op­por­tu­nity to meet em­ploy­ers that are hir­ing and ex­plore fu­ture ca­reers. Ap­prox­i­mately 30-50 young adults were lined up at front door around 3 p.m. anx­iously await­ing to be vet­ted for part-time

and full-time, ap­pren­tice­ship and vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties. They were asked to bring mul­ti­ple copies of their re­sume and dress to im­press for pos­si­ble on­the-spot job in­ter views.

“Our [CCPL] ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Janet Salazar and young adult su­per­vi­sor Bill Stea were re­ally interested in us do­ing a job fair geared to­wards young adults,” said Ash­ley Tea­gle, Wal­dorf West Li­brary branch man­ager. “This year we were able to recruit more busi­nesses and show off the fact that we’ve got great young adults in Charles County who are pro­duc­tive and have a lot to add to our community. I’m re­ally pleased with the turnout and I hope that they are em­ployed lo­cally so that we can keep them here in the area.”

Stea said it can be very dif­fi­cult to get young adults en­gaged and uti­liz­ing the li­brary so he was pleased with the good turnout.

“We need to find ways to con­sis­tently bring the young adults and teens into the li­brary,” Stea said. “Young adults are such an un­der­served and un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated de­mo­graphic . ... We have a lot of teens com­ing out of high school and young adults com­ing out of col­lege. At this job fair we want them all to mar­ket them­selves to these com­pa­nies and find the right fit for them.”

The young adults met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses such as Home De­pot, Chick-fil-A in Wal­dorf and St. Charles Towne Cen­ter, McDon­alds (the Wel­burn Or­ga­ni­za­tion), U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Taco Bell, Fash­ion To Fig­ure, Spring Dell Cen­ter, BuildA-Bear Work­shop and Outback Steak­house.

Wal­dorf res­i­dents Jor­dan Mitchell, 17, and her mom LaV­erne Mitchell said it was very con­ve­nient to have mul­ti­ple em­ploy­ers at one lo­ca­tion, es­pe­cially now that Jor­dan is seek­ing em­ploy­ment with her back­ground in ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties.

“I like talk­ing to some­one face to face rather than filling out a job ap­pli­ca­tion and never know­ing if any­one is go­ing to see it . ... The Chuck E. Cheese man­agers were re­ally ex­cit­ing to talk to. The rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Good­will In­dus­tries said he would set up an in­ter­view wth me the next day and Wawa said they would call me as well,” Jor­dan said.

Ka­trice War­ren, 22, a Wal­dorf res­i­dent, said she was look­ing for some­thing new and stum­bled upon Danielle Mother­shead, a man­ager at Fash­ion To Fig­ure in St. Charles Towne Cen­ter, dur­ing the job fair.

“I’ve al­ways worked in

the food in­dus­try and then I went into re­tail,” War­ren said. “Then I ended up get­ting into a car ac­ci­dent so my whole as­pect of life changed. I knew I needed to get back into the work­force so I came to this job fair. I love Fash­ion to Fig­ure and I was sur­prised they were here look­ing for new hires. This proves that there are jobs out here and this job fair was a big help.”

Many of the young adults said with the cur­rent state of the job mar­ket it has been very dif­fi­cult to find job op­por­tu­ni­ties, but the job fair gave them hope and a chance to be in front of po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers.

“I just grad­u­ated col­lege at Frost­burg Sate Univer­sity and I need a job right now un­til I de­cide what my next steps would be,” said Corey He­witt, 22, a Wal­dorf res­i­dent. “To­day I ap­plied for the front desk po­si­tion with the CCPL and I’m here weigh­ing my op­tions. There’s so much com­pe­ti­tion with people around my age hav­ing dif­fer­ent de­grees, but at this job fair I feel mo­ti­vated to keep find­ing a job.”

Wal­dorf res­i­dent Con­rad Briggs brought his daugh­ter Liliana Gor­don, 13, to the job fair to gain more prac­ti­cal busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence at an early stage in life.

“It’s a com­fort but also more of an en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause I want to be able to go to other job fairs and say I’ve done this be­fore — I know where to go, the tone that I should strike with em­ploy­ers and how I should look for an in­ter­view,” Gor­don said.

Many em­ploy­ers were shocked at the turnout and the en­thu­si­asm of the young adults who ap­proached them.

“I am im­pressed with with the num­ber of ap­pli­cants we have had,” said Kathy Le­van­duski, hu­man re­sources direc­tor at Chick-fil-A in Wal­dorf. “We are look­ing for people who want to or al­ready know how to give ex­cel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice and have a friendly at­ti­tude. One tip we shared with them is to set up their voice­mails be­cause if we can’t leave a mes­sage, then we can’t set up an in­ter­view.”

Michael Davis, Wawa area man­ager for South­ern Mary­land, said he plans to put the CCPL Young Adult Job Fair on his cal­en­dar ev­ery year be­cause of the good vibes

and the good people that his staff met.

“We are look­ing for great per­son­al­i­ties, friendly smiles, whether they are plan­ning to go to col­lege be­cause Wawa of­fers $22,000 worth of tu­ition re­im­burse­ment that no­body knows about. Just main­tain a 2.0 GPA, be will­ing to grow with the com­pany, and able to go to school and still work,” Davis said.

Lawrence Hyson, Na­tional Elec­tri­cal Con­trac­tors As­so­ci­a­tion (NECA) as­sis­tant direc­tor, of­fered ev­ery ap­pli­cant a five-year ap­pren­tice­ship with start­ing pay of $50,000 a year, work­ing 40 hours a week. He said each ap­pli­cant will re­ceive free ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, pay raises ev­ery 10 months, and the abil­ity to trans­fer job lo­ca­tions ev­ery 10 months to gain a di­verse skill set.

“I was look­ing for some­thing where I can work with kids and re­ally come out of my com­fort zone,” said Aniya Sor­rell, 16, a Wal­dorf res­i­dent. She said that Build-A-Bear Work­shop and Chuck E. Cheese’s were right up her al­ley.

Wal­dorf res­i­dent Johnelle Wal­lace, 16, said despite the job fair be­ing some­what of a nerve-wrack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, many of the jobs al­low her to in­ter­act with people which is one of her fa­vorite things to do.

“I came in ner­vous and skep­ti­cal but the em­ploy­ers were ac­tu­ally re­ally nice,” said Na­dia Cor­bett, 16, of In­dian Head. “I’m look­ing for my sec­ond job so I’m al­ready com­ing in with work ex­pe­ri­ence, and I love people so I like to in­ter­act with my cus­tomers. I’m good at multi-task­ing and I want to ex­pand my ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s im­por­tant to be well rounded.”

Her mom Renita Cor­bett said, “find­ing a job for teens is dif­fi­cult so it’s great that these em­ploy­ers are here ready to give them a chance.”


Ty­rone Sharpe, re­cruiter from Good­will Greater Wash­ing­ton, met Wal­dorf res­i­dents Will Dyer, 19, and Quincy Con­nell, 17, at the CCPL Young Adult Job Fair on March 22.

Wal­dorf res­i­dents Johnelle Wal­lace, 16, and Aniya Sor­rell, 16, hand their al­ready filled out job ap­pli­ca­tions to Kathy Le­van­duski, hu­man re­sources direc­tor at Chick-fil-A in Wal­dorf, dur­ing the Young Adult Job Fair on March 22.


Wal­dorf res­i­dent Ka­trice War­ren, 22, dis­cusses the ap­pli­ca­tion process with Danielle Mother­shead, a man­ager at Fash­ion To Fig­ure in St. Charles Towne Cen­ter, dur­ing the Young Adult Job Fair on March 22.


Dur­ing the Young Adult Job Fair, Michael Davis, Wawa area man­ager for South­ern Mary­land, and Crissy Keys, Wawa as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager, con­ducted on the spot in­ter­views at Wal­dorf West Li­brary on March 22.

Wal­dorf res­i­dent Jor­dan Mitchell, 17, fills out a Charles County Pub­lic Li­brary job ap­pli­ca­tion at the Young Adult Job Fair on March 22.


On March 22, Chuck E. Cheese’s se­nior man­ager Alonzo Brewer and gen­eral man­ager April Dixon con­duct a face to face in­ter­view with Na­dia Cor­bett, 16, of In­dian Head dur­ing the Young Adult Job Fair at Wal­dorf West Li­brary.

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