BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
Several hundred job seekers attended a job fair Monday at Daytona State College. For those who missed that one, another opportunity will take place April 15 at the News Journal Center, 221 N. Beach St. There will be about 30 employees at that job fair, also sponsored by the college.
Miriam Ruiz, the director of Career Services, was pleased with the turnout at Monday’s event.
“About 250 to 270 people came through the doors and 36 employers, including the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the prisons, the Salvation Army and those seeking medical professionals. There was a good variety,” said Ruiz.
“Our main priority is to help you (students and alumni of DSC) prepare for your job search and secure employment in your field of study. We can also help you secure part-time or temporary work which is ideal for students.”
Through the Career Center, Ruiz helps students and alumni discover the career that is best suited to their interests, skills and values as well as help plan the educational path needed to follow to maximize their ability to take advantage of those opportunities.
The April 15 job fair is open to the public.
Best foot forward
Many job seekers were prepared, in suits and neckties, others in dresses, some in jeans. Raul DeBerry came to the fair for his wife. He told the Daytona Times that although she could not be there, he would drop off her resume and pick up the names and numbers of employers she could reach out to at a later time.
Other attendees brought resumes, letters of reference and business cards, prepped for on-the-spot interviews.
“Anytime we can come into the community and help people get jobs who are qualified, it’s always going to be a success,” said Michael Barker, an affirmative employment recruiter with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. “We are hiring for a multitude of positions but our critical needs area are chaplains, medical personnel and we are always actively hiring for correctional officers.”
Asked of his duties as an affirmative employment recruiter, Barker explained that there really is no difference between what he does and those who are solely employment recruiters.
“The federal government has placed some initiatives on affirmative action and we are required by policy to cooperate with those initiatives,’’ he offered.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Volusia County has seen a 1.3 rate of decline over a 12-month period in the number of unemployed from February 2013 to February 2014. Volusia’s 6.4 unemployment rate in February 2014 showed improvements from the 7.7 unemployment rate in 2013.
“It’s been a tough year for us. I’ve been out of work for five months, my wife is in school and we aren’t looking for handouts. I just want to be able to support my family,” said Terell Rogers, who was looking for a job.
For more information on Daytona State College’s Career Center, contact Miriam Ruiz at 386-506-3687 or email her at ruiz@DaytonaState.edu. For more information on the fair to be held at the News Journal Center, contact Jessica Fox at 386-681-2365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.