The first-ever fall job fair took place at Paddock Mall in Ocala, and officials hope to make it an annual event. The job fair’s purpose is to reach out to the community and also make it available for students to come and speak to different employers, while providing information about job opportunities and careers in their field.
The job fair was held at the beginning of the school year to encourage students who would normally seek seasonal jobs while they are on their Christmas vacation. Instead, they can apply for the job now.
32 employers were available at Paddock Mall to inform students about the opportunities that are available for them. Elvie Tyler is the CF recruiter who works with the XCEL-IT program. They partner with Career Source, Citrus, Levy, and Marion counties, as well as the career department and the talent center here at CF. There were ten programs from CF at the job fair to provide information to the community. “Companies that search for seasonal workers – the job fair is the place to come,” Tyler said.
Amy Osborne, who works with the business tech department, said representatives from health sciences, advisors from various programs, and representatives from business tech and the financial aid department were in attendance. Osborne also said she received a lot of positive comments about the job fair. “Elvie Tyler has done a great job coordinating this event today,” Osborne said.
Andy Variell, the MC of the event and the manager of the Fine Arts Center, was also there representing XCEL-IT. Variell hopes this will become an annual event and says a lot of people appreciated the event.
The vendors that were at the job fair offered a wide range of jobs, such as permanent jobs, other seasonal jobs, and internships. One of those vendors was the Ocala Police Department, who handles everything within the city limits of Ocala. They were at the fair to look for applicants who are interested in a career within the Ocala police department.
“We are looking to fill positions with great people who are looking for a career,” Dawn Dickson said. They have various positions open, such as 911 operators, police officers, property technicians, communication technicians, and community service specialist technicians. Dickson said the job fair is a great way to get out to the community and see the people that are looking for jobs, and to be able to meet people face to face and talk to them.
Positions like communications property technician and community service specialist only require a school diploma and background check. The police department do their own training on the job depending on what position you are hired for. “If you have a high school diploma, basic computer skills, and are ready to learn, you can apply for these positions,” Dickson said. If you want to be a police officer you do need to go to the CF police academy.
Story by: Erica Hultgren