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Job and Career Fair comes at low point in year for employment

January and February are traditionally the top months for unemployment insurance claims on the Kenai Peninsula, which is understandable, with no commercial or sports fishing, construction or as many people in support jobs during that time of year. Which makes March a very good month for the Kenai Job Fair.

It will be on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Soldotna Sports Complex, which is a change in venue from the past.

Rachel O’Brien in Kenai is Gulf Coast and Southwest Regional Manager for Job Center operations. She’s impressed, and maybe a little surprised at the number of employers and job trainers that are participating this year.

“We’re sitting at 51 employers and training providers at this point, so I’m really pleased given the fact that the job market being what it currently is as a result of impacts that we’ve had directly to our community within the oilfield and oilfield support industry," she said.

O’Brien says the job fair is an excellent opportunity for job seekers to have a face-to-face with a recruiter.

"Sometimes it’s difficult to do, almost impossible, when you’re going through the regular traditional application process, where you’re applying over the computer or faxing or e-mailing and it’s tough to get an HR representative or a recruiter that you can pick up the phone and speak to," she said.

And as for who attends, O’Brien says there is no one typical job seeker.

"We have high school students after they get out of school, or for the homeschool students, they come over throughout the day. Sometimes their parents are with them, sometimes their parents are not," she said. "There are seasonal job seekers, there are just unemployed job seekers, there are employed job seekers.”

Folks who attend can also explore apprenticeships, training and internship opportunities as well. O’Brien says if you have a resume to bring it and dress for a possible interview. Otherwise, the Job Service Center has a resume writing class, held separately from the fair.

The Kenai Job Fair is on Wednesday from 10 to 4, and for the first time, it will be held at the Sports Complex in Soldotna.

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