When you think of a job fair, you automatically think of tables hosted by various businesses in one large room…and when the doors open, people who are unemployed or looking to change jobs get the chance to meet employers and apply for available jobs. Instead of this scenario, the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCDD) decided to try something different.
With the help of CCDD Business Advisory Council members from Ohio Means Jobs Clermont County and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, 15 individuals from CCDD participated in a Reverse Job Fair on March 21. During a boot camp held March 16, 17, and 20, these job seekers learned important skills that included job readiness, appropriate dress for interviews and work, proper interview skills, and more. On their final boot camp day, the job seekers created display boards about themselves and the skills they possess. They left Ohio Means Jobs on March 20 a bit nervous but when they returned on March 21, they were in professional mode.
The Reverse Job Fair was open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and during that time, the job seekers stayed by their display boards while employers from the Greater Cincinnati area traveled around the room in a meet-and-greet style. For some, this ultimately turned into mini-interviews, when employers chose to learn more about the applicants. Nine businesses representing several stores and restaurants were in attendance: Home Depot Mason; Goshen Kroger; Mt. Carmel Kroger; McDonald’s (representing restaurants in Mt. Carmel, New Richmond, Bethel, and Amelia); Amelia Kroger; Milford Walmart; Cherry Grover Kroger; Donato’s Pizza (representing restaurants in Milford, Mason, Symmes Township, and Blue Ash); and Red Robin Milford.
“The Community Employment Services Department at CCDD was very pleased with this first-ever endeavor,” said Scott Brown, Program Coordinator for Community Employment Services. “The experience that job seekers received and benefits that were offered through our collaboration with Ohio Means Jobs helped to further equip these potential employees with vocational goals.”
Job seekers who attended the boot camp and Reverse Job Fair were interested in manufacturing, food service, and grocery store customer service positions. Dalton Booker of Williamsburg has worked in food service but said he would love to work at a library in the future. Morina Bolin of Owensville was interested in the food service industry.
“I would like to work in a restaurant,” said Bolin. “I enjoy the type of work offered in a restaurant. It’s fun.”
Brown and members of his team from CCDD would like to make the Reverse Job Fair a yearly event.
“This was quite a success,” said Brown. “We will discuss this at an upcoming meeting with our Business Advisory Council and then put together a process for a 2018 event.”
Visit the Community Employment Page of clermontdd.org to view a gallery of photos from the four-day event. For information about job seekers from CCDD, contact Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-732-4851.