Juneau Job Fair is hoping to make employment connections

Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Alaska Job Center Network wants to make good connections at the Juneau Job Fair next Saturday.

The fair, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Centennial Hall, will bring together employers and job-seekers. But Ted Burke, the employment and training manager for Juneau and the Southeast Region, said he is looking for more than introductions.

On Wednesday the job center, a division of the state Department of Labor, will hold a workshop to help job-seekers dress appropriately for the event. It will be held at 10 a.m. in the job center's Mountainview Conference Room at 10002 Glacier Highway.

Local Rotary Club members have donated clothing that people can wear Saturday if they have nothing appropriate.

Staff also will hold workshops Saturday to help job-seekers with interview skills, resume writing and understanding employer expectations.

Saturday's fair, co-sponsored by the Juneau Empire, will be larger than in the past.

By Friday, about 25 employers had committed to attend, representing the major industries that will soon hire for the summer - tourism and seafood - and other sectors of the work force, including mining, construction and state government.

Some employers want to fill immediate openings and some will hire people in the future, said Glenn Mitchell, an employment security specialist at the job center.

It isn't just job seekers who need to make a good impression Saturday, he said.

Employers "need to represent their businesses to entice people to want to work with them," Mitchell said.

Workshops also will help employers learn about employer taxes, wage-and-hour laws, a federal tax credit for hiring people who have trouble finding work, and fidelity bonding to make it easier to hire hard-to-place applicants.

Michael Hutcherson, employment manager at the job center, said it wasn't coincidental that the job fair will be held during the Gold Medal basketball tournament, which draws large numbers of fans and players from island villages that don't have the employment opportunities Juneau has.

He said word of the fair is getting out through the competition organizers.

Saturday's fair is like what the job center will do this week and every week, Burke said.

People can use computers to prepare their resumes with staff guidance and receive career counseling. Staff works with job-seekers on mock interviews to familiarize them with the process. Some can qualify for career training.

Hutcherson recalled one man who came back after being hired to say he felt like he was cheating at his interview because he was coached so well on what to expect.

"We're not the unemployment office," Hutcherson said. "We're the employment office."

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.

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