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A student talks with representatives from one of the many employers that participated in a job fair at Whitewater High School on March 16.

WHITEWATER

Whitewater High School’s job fair March 16 saw good participation from students, families and prospective employers alike.

The job fair sought to connect students to employment opportunities, including those affiliated with the school’s growing Youth Apprenticeship program and other independent employers.

“I really wanted to make sure there was something for everyone at the job fair,” said Molly Fuller, family and community engagement coordinator for the Whitewater Unified School District.

During the fair, students and their family members had the opportunity to speak with with representatives from area companies and other organizations seeking employees.

Visitors could pick up job applications or collect business cards in hopes of setting up formal interviews at a later date.

“When I was hired on to a new position in July as Whitewater Unified School District’s family/community engagement coordinator, I had one goal—to help every student realize their full potential,” Fuller said.

In speaking with educational leaders at the high school, Fuller learned of the Youth Apprenticeship program, which is part of a statewide initiative designed for high school students who get hands-on experience in a career field along with classroom instruction.

Fuller said that while the program had been in existence at Whitewater for some years, participation had been low and went lower when the pandemic first hit.

Fuller reasoned that more students would take advantage of the opportunity if they were aware of it, so she kicked off an awareness campaign. The recent job fair was one of the steps in that process, and it indeed led to more students showing an interest in the apprenticeship program.

Earlier in the year, the school hosted a career fair, which drew in more than 80 students and 40 parents with 13 companies represented.

“With the excitement that was generated from the career fair, I knew we had something special,” Fuller said.

Last week’s job fair started where the winter career fair left off, going beyond exploration into action.

Not only was this month’s job fair bigger than the winter event, but it also offered people the opportunity to apply for jobs on the spot.

In order to get students comfortable with the job application process and the idea of speaking with potential employers, Fuller and other school employees met with students ahead of the fair, holding mock interviews and providing tips to improve students’ interviewing skills.

As a result, Fuller said, students did a great job interacting with the employers at last week’s fair, which led to positive connections and job leads.

Last week’s event drew 128 students and 83 parents with 31 employers represented, including private companies, governmental entities and local organizations.

“Whitewater Unified School District looks forward to continued partnerships like this, through which we can help our students achieve greatness,” Fuller said.

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