Cedar Rapids, Iowa – At Hoover Elementary in Cedar Rapids, IowaWORKS and other organizations held an Entry Level and Beyond Job Fair.
The event at Hoover Elementary, according to Community School Coordinator Lemi Tilahun, came after a needs-based assessment revealed that families in the school needed assistance connecting with businesses. People were specifically looking for positions that paid well and offered flexible scheduling.
The employment fair also highlighted the need of being friendly to refugees and immigrants who may have language problems.
“Just because there is our language barrier or other barriers, that doesn’t mean the skills are not transferable. A lot of people come with great skills that could be such an asset to our community, but just may need that shot,” said Tilahun.
Many activities like this are held by IowaWORKS. Curt Wheeler, a workforce expert, believes it is critical to bring employers to where people are. People should take advantage of in-person hiring events, he suggested.
“Pretty much across industries they are all saying they need people, they’re not able to find the people they need and a lot of these positions these are entry-level and up,” said Wheeler.
The Cedar Rapids Public Library, the Opportunity Center at Ladd Library, Tanager Place, Hoover Elementary School, YPN, Catherine McAuley Center, and United We March Forward were among the partners who helped organize the job fair alongside IowaWORKS.
The Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Mobile Technology Lab was set up at the event to assist attendees with cv creation and printing, as well as online job applications.
Wheeler said the Cedar Rapids IowaWORKS Center will continue to host weekly hiring events, bringing in companies every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m.