Fair attracts job seekers, providers

Clark College hosts ‘Career Days’ event for community

Awna Underwood, the district training leader for Sleep Train Inc., chatted with many individuals Wednesday, at the Clark College “Career Days” job fair. Recruiters from 46 companies and military personnel were available to answer questions posed by more than 800 job fair attendees. Underwood, of Camas, said Sleep Train is hiring for full time entry level sales positions. “We are looking for people that find joy in helping people, that enjoy conversations with the public and have great smiles and positive attitudes,” she said.

Rob Boley, of Washougal, is adjusting to his new job — which is to find a job.

For seven years, he owned The Great Frame Up, in the Riverstone Marketplace development along Southeast 192nd Avenue, in Vancouver. After deciding not to renew his lease, Boley closed the custom art framing shop in February.

He was among the more than 800 individuals participating in a job fair at Clark College, Wednesday.

“It was time well spent for me,” Boley said. “I learned a lot about many companies in a short period of time, and I was able to stop and visit with just about every table there.

“The ones that resonate the most with me were the businesses in the retail front or selling products that I could become personally excited about,” he added.

Boley plans to follow up with the retail companies that were at the job fair, including Home Depot, Costco, Lowes, Sleep Country and Fred Meyer, as well as Aflac and staffing companies such as Barrett Business Services, Inc., ACS Group, Inc., Personnel Source, Inc., and Express Employment Professionals.

“I’d like to find a job where I can use my problem solving and customer service skills to help a company build its customer base and make money,” Boley said.

Prior to opening the frame shop, he was a public relations executive for 16 years at the Fred Meyer corporate headquarters in Portland.

In addition to attending job fairs, Boley recommends that job seekers utilize the free resources — including classes about developing resumes and interviewing techniques —available at Worksource.

Overall, he found the job fair at Clark to be beneficial.

“You can discover companies that might be a good fit for you that you might not have thought of before,” Boley said. “There are some companies that are now on my radar.”

Recruiters from 46 companies and military service personnel were available to answer questions at the job fair.

Stacey Smith, a recruiter with WaferTech, of Camas, said the event attracted a lot of students as well as other community members.

“We’ve given away a lot of yo-yos,” she said, referring to the WaferTech logo-embossed toys that were available to the job fair attendees.

WaferTech, a fully-owned subsidiary of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., is currently hiring engineers, technicians and individuals for human resource and information technology positions.

WaferTech is also pre-screening for some entry level full-time production positions. Comprehensive training is provided.

“We always like going to the fairs and talking to people, and starting to build relationships with potential employees,” Smith said.

Audreyana Foster, a former Washougal resident who now lives in Vancouver, was among the Clark College students attending the job fair.

She said the event was worthwhile for making contacts with representatives of companies such as Insitu, Inc. Foster, 17, hopes to intern with the company located in Bingen during the summer of 2013.

As a participant in the Running Start program, she is a junior at Mountain View High School and a freshman at Clark. Foster hopes to eventually transfer to the University of Washington and major in aerospace and mechanical engineering. Her career goals include working for Insitu, Inc., or Boeing Company.

During the job fair, employees with Sleep Train, Inc., provided information about jobs and paid internships.

Awna Underwood, a district training leader for Sleep Train, said internships are available to college sophomores majoring in business-related fields.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about sales techniques, customer service, overcoming objections and finding answers and products to meet customer needs,” she said.

Underwood said Sleep Train Inc., which includes Sleep Country USA and Mattress Discounters, is currently hiring entry level sales positions for 29 stores in the Portland and Southwest Washington areas.

In addition to the job fair, Clark College’s Career Days event included workshops regarding choosing a career, applying for jobs and networking. Approximately 200 students received professional business outfits donated by members of the community to the Career Clothing Closet.

A transfer fair, held Thursday, included information about admissions and financial aid at four-year colleges and universities. In all, the “Career Days” four-day event attracted more than 1,000 people.

A health careers job fair will be held Wednesday, June 6, from noon to 4 p.m., in the Gaiser Student Center, at Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. For more information, call the Career Services Department at 992-2902 or visit www.clark.edu/cc/careerservices.

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