EVENT: Newark Emergency Services for Families Supportive Assistance for Individuals and Families 6th Annual Career Fair
Location: NESF 982 Broad Street Newark, New Jersey 07102
Date: Friday, May 19, 2017
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
After months and months of strategic planning, mock interviewing and practice 30 second elevator pitches, the NESF SAIF Program kicked off their 6th Annual Career Resource Fair. Over the years, their career fairs have resulted in dozens of hires, which is very good news for the community of Newark.
Local employers looking to hire were: Youth Consultation Services in Newark N.J., The Essex County Mature Worker’s Program in East Orange N.J., Newark Works, The City of Newark (Re-Entry) One Stop Career Center, Blessed Ministries in Newark, N.J., Council for airport opportunities, SafeLink, Ashley Furniture, Goodwill Industries, Ironbound Community Corporation, Mary Kay, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Quality Health Care, Urban Renewal, Calvary Staffing, Partnership for People, Essex County College Training Inc., Essex County Jobs for Life and BRIDGES. Through the career fair planning process, there were partnerships and referral systems developed specifically with our participants in mind.
The Career Fair kicked off with the SAIF Program participants and vendors receiving a heartfelt welcome and greeting. They also had breakfast with the vendors and employers, in an effort to build and create social connections and partnerships. Also to motivate, encourage and inspire the participants to go into the fair with the confidence needed to make a good impression. It also gave the participants the opportunity to ask questions and utilize get additional last minute tips from their Intensive Case Manager’s on the “do’s and don’ts” of engaging employers.
Thus far, less than one week after the career fair, there has been three hires for full-time employment and one volunteer program enrollee.
Thus far, less than one week after the career fair, there has been six hires for full-time employment and several volunteer opportunities.
The job-hunting process for the NESF SAIF program participantshas been long and tiresome, to say the least. Like most, the SAIF program participantshave searched feverishly for jobs. At times, they feeling like their efforts to find employment are all in vein. Submitting resume after resume and applying for various positions, there’s a level of frustration and disappointment that takes place and confidence is broken.
In a recent conversation with the SAIF Program Director (Ms. DeVille), Mr. P. Rhodes, a stated, “I really found the SAIF program to be very helpful. It’s because of this program that I am more confident and assure of myself that I can find and maintain employment. The weekly workshops, I found, to be very instrumental to me finding employment. Intensive Case Manager, Ms. Thomas, has worked with me, diligently, on my barriers and I’m truly grateful for her. Another NESF SAIF participant, Mr. D. Herrington, stated that his Intensive Case Manager, Mr. Weah, helped him get a suit, a haircut and shoes for the career fair and practiced presentation with him during their monthly face to face visits.
Ms. S. Spann thanked her ICM, Ms., Matthews,for taking the time to work with me on my resume, interviewing skills and presentation. She had patience with me”, stated Ms. Spann. Ms. Sharon Gilbert, also on Ms. Matthews’ caseload, reported that she is excited about her possible employment opportunity with Quality Healthcare.
This year we had 18 vendors present. All ready, willing and excited to assist our clients in accelerating to the next level of self-sufficiency.
Mr. Weldon Montague, Essex County Department of Labor, states, “We are no longer in the recession. I have all types of jobs for people with various types of experience. The jobs are there but at times, the people are few. I am contracted with employers from Amazon to Blue Apron and FED-Ex. The NESF SAIF job fair was a wonderful opportunity for participants who are work ready to seek and find employment resources.
On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Ms. Joke Adepujo, a SAIF program participantcame into the agency at NESF for her weekly workshop. While she was here, she informed her SAIF Intensive Case Manager, Ms. Jones that she’d been in contact with The Mature Workers Program (55+) and is looking forward to working there 15 hours per week. “I will use this opportunity to show off my skills and also gain additional skills. The main thing is that I now have a program to attend that will increase my work skills, while being compensated”. Ms. Annette Martinez stated that the resources at the career fair assisted her with finding a volunteer program and one that may lead to employment. She commented, “It finally feels like I’m winning”.
“This year,we were really pleased with the turnout. The outcome continues to get better and better, every year. We had eighteen vendors and over seventy participants to participate this year. We have employed over 100 SAIF participants for the year of 2016-2017. We provided all participants that attended with a career kit which included a donation of over 70 toiletry bags from our friend Jeff Friedman of The Livingston Philanthropies. We are looking to continue to grow and expand our horizons with the hopes of reaching a goal of employing 200 SAIF participants for the year 2017-2018.
“People are realizing that jobs are out there and they’re readily available for them to take advantage of the opportunity”, states Ms. DeVille, SAIF Program Director. People have shifted their thinking and are moving towards those fields of work that’s high in demand. Ms. DeVille and her team isso passionate about the concept of helping people get employed, that they’re willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that they are building strong, resilient, resourceful participants that can push forward and achieve a huge milestone in their life, which is gaining sustainable employment. The vendors and employers rated the quality of the participants at the career fair as top notch. The preparedness, presentation, communication of the program participants was well acknowledged.