Library hosts job fair geared to young adults
Area employers look to attract fresh talent
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.