The Patriot Job Connection at College of Central Florida is striving to make it easier for students to seek and find jobs in Ocala. CareerSource, X-CEL IT, and Patriot Job Connection came together to bring a new event to the campus to enlighten students, and to allow CF Patriots to be the first in line for enticing local jobs. On August 31, the “Hot Employer of the Month” event was held for students and residents of Ocala to come to CF to explore an opportunity with Cheney Brothers Inc.
Attendees gathered to speak to a representative from Cheney Brothers Inc. The one-day job fair was held in the Enterprise Center, Building 42, Room 109 from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. This event will be reoccurring each month with a different chosen company. Todd Reiland, from XCEL-IT, is hopeful that the event will have a standard time of being held towards the end of each month. The event will most likely occur during similar hours that it occurred this time around, during College Activity hour from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., so students on campus will be able to come by without missing classes.
The event was posted on CF’s main website, the college calendar, the “Hot Employer of the Month” flyer, the Weekly Job Sampler, and the event was noted to the college advisors to pass along to students that came in for advising.
“The event is focused towards students and it is for the students to be able to create better relationships with employers,” Reiland said.
RJ Pullings, a local resident, was sitting in the Patriot Job Connection’s main office, patiently waiting for his time to sign in and speak with Traci Ball, the HR Manager for Cheney Brothers Inc. The open interviews called for resumes and completed job applications, if possible, but if not, then there were applications on the table waiting for job-seekers to fill out before being interviewed.
“I heard about the event through my grandmother,” said Pullings. “She looks for different events like this online and she heard about a job fair at CF. I’ve applied to Cheney Brothers Inc. before, but this feels like a more direct way to seek employment from them.”
There was excitement in the waiting room of the Patriot Job Connection as hopeful job-seekers filled out applications and remained engaged with others who were also waiting for the opportunity to speak with Ball. Pens were scurrying across applications as those interested in getting connected with this month’s “hottest” employer continued to pour into the waiting room.
“Generally, CF students have priority,” Katie Jo Davis said in relation of whether or not students or residents were more likely to be hired by the chosen company of the month. However, Davis did note that the word was “put out for everyone,” not just students, and the turnout of applicants was a good mix of both students and residents. Reiland explained that this event was made to “shine what the school has to offer” in terms of how the students continue to progress and grow into a job field after attending CF.
“Any event is a success when we partner with the college and CareerSource,” Ball said. “It allows us to meet applicants in person to discuss their interests and get a better idea for what they are looking for and if they will be a match for our opportunities. I think these types of events are a great way for students to make connections to employers in the community.”
The information about this one-day job fair that will be happening monthly will be posted in the same venues it was during this month, but XCEL-IT and Patriot Job Connection are hopeful to build more knowledge of the event through even more marketing venues in the upcoming future.
If a job is what you seek, look no further than the Patriot Job Fair.
As Pullings said, “I think the event is definitely a prominent way for students to seek jobs.”
Story by Ashleigh McVey