CareerSource Polk is hosting a Veterans & Community Virtual Job Fair from 9 am to noon on Thursday, November 19 to connect job seekers with more than 25 companies that are eager to hire Polk County residents.
CareerSource Polk, which oversees the state and federal funds dedicated to preparing and upgrading a skilled workforce, has partnered with Premier Virtual to elevate the virtual job fair experience, said community outreach coordinator Candace Franklin.
“Attending a job fair allows job-seekers to quickly connect with multiple employers in one setting. Our mission is to connect job seekers with work opportunities and also connect employers with qualified candidates,” she said. “These events also ensure that job seekers know what opportunities are available. I believe that anyone who is looking for work in Polk County will be encouraged to see how many opportunities are available.”
The virtual job fair has its drawbacks, however. For instance, employers can’t read a person’s non-verbal communication, but participants may request video interviews and can access an online chat at a company’s booth to ask questions.
It also has benefits. “In our current climate, social distancing is a concern for some individuals, so a virtual job fair means that we can still aim for a high attendance rate,” Franklin said. “This benefits everyone because employers can still gain access to a pool of candidates and job seekers can speak with multiple employers.”
Registration is required and those registering may upload a PDF of their resume at that time or add a resume to their profile the day of the event so employers can view it during the job fair. Register HERE.
On November 19, viewers will log in and be taken to a virtual trade show floor environment. “Attendees can then click on a company logo to visit their virtual booth,” Franklin said. “From there, they can find out more information about the company, look at job opportunities, speak with company representatives and even submit their application.”
Employers have been reaching out to CareerSource Polk’s Business Services Department to provide openings, she said. “We see a lot of opportunities in production, customer service, manufacturing and warehousing, as well as maintenance/electricians.”
Some of the companies who will be interviewing at the job fair are LEGOLAND Florida, Cutrale Citrus Juices, GEICO, Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Schneider, City of Winter Haven, Rita Staffing, Sofidel, BayCare Health System, American Builders Supply and Ensure Financial Group.
“These employers are looking for truck drivers, administrative assistants and machine operators. There are also nursing opportunities, warehouse opportunities and insurance agents, and another employer has listed a helicopter pilot position,” Franklin said. “These employers have over 100 job titles alone, and many of them are offering more than one position for those titles. There are hundreds of work opportunities here.”
Those entering the job market may find entry-level jobs and internships. Salaries range from $9.50 an hour — or about $20,000 a year — up to more than $100,000, Franklin said.
“Employers are very eager to hire at this time,” she said. “So, if you are looking for work, I can tell you that there are a lot of employment opportunities right now. The employers that are participating in our Veterans and Community Virtual Job Fair are ones who had work opportunities listed in the EmployFlorida Marketplace.”
Most of the jobs are permanent, and some temporary jobs could become permanent; that information is indicated in the job description, Franklin said.
The more than 60,000 veterans who live in Polk County are among our most valuable resources, Franklin said. “They have made a very honorable decision to serve our country, and during that time they gain leadership and problem-solving skills that greatly benefit our workforce.”
In addition to helping them find jobs, CareerSource Polk wants to help them adjust to civilian life, she said. “Veterans receive priority of services in the areas of employment and training. We also offer Veteran’s Workforce programs in both our Lakeland and Winter Haven career centers.
“By helping our veterans gain long-term employment, we are helping to ensure that they can continue to provide for their families as well as enjoy a sense of purpose as they contribute to society.”