Come To The Virtual Job Fair

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ST. JOHNSBURY- Normally when you think of a job fair, you see a big gymnasium with a bunch of tables surrounding the floor. Each table has a different job description and ways to apply. But after talking with Todd Gratton, and Alexis Proia, have come up with a new way to present a job fair.

 Alexis Proia is a Job Coach for the Northeast Kingdom Community Action Parent Child Center. Todd Gratton is one of the Business account managers for the local Creative Work Force Solution. Which is a group of local agencies designed to help Vermonters to get back into the job market. Some agencies involved are Northeast Kingdom Community Action, Vermont Local Rehab, The Vermont Department Of Labor, Vermont Department of Economic services, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, The Baart Program, St.Johnsbury Academy, Community College Of Vermont, The Vermont Associates, and Veterans Incorporated.

This would have been the work forces 7th year doing the job fair in St.Johnsbury and it's usually held at the St.Johnsbury Middle School. "Obviously this year we had to think of something creative and different because we could not get 500 people together in a school setting." So the group had to think of a different way to do the Job Fair this year. So since virtual online meetings were so popular, they thought it would be a great tool for them to use.

So they connected with Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, "as you probably know the hospital is always hiring for some position. We asked them if they were interested in trying to be like a test bed for a pilot." Gratton expresses everyone's excitement about this since they have never tackled the Job Fair from this angle before. During this online zoom meeting the hospital will be presenting what jobs they are currently offering, and what jobs they traditionally hire for. Then, after the presentation is all done, there will be a question and answer portion of the meeting.

Gratton tells us about the obstacles the team faced as they tried to figure out a way to tackle the Job Fair during Covid-19. The first mission was to come up with a new idea. "Because again we had to think really outside the box, we can't do anything face to face." Some other struggles included finding the correct platform, and finding ways to market it. But Gratton says that the team is fortunate to have so many connections with other organizations that had connections with the community.

Gratton says if the job fair goes well, they are looking at doing a zoom meeting with multiple breakout rooms for each business. Or working on scheduling them weekly for one business, or scheduling a half a day and giving each business a half hour block of time to present their jobs. People would also be free to jump into and out of the meeting as they please. Gratton expresses that Proia has been an amazing partner through all of this, and if he did not have partners like her this would have not been possible. The Job Fair will be happening May 11th, at 11A.M. You can go to the NEKCA Parent Child Center's facebook page for the Zoom Meeting information.