Upcoming career fair opens doors for local economy | SkyHiNews.com

Upcoming career fair opens doors for local economy

Patrick Brower
Grand Enterprise Initiative

A career fair for high school students and a job fair for job seekers in general is set to take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 in the administration building at Snow Mountain Ranch-YMCA of the Rockies at the top of Red Dirt Hill.

This fair, which is sponsored by Grand County Economic Development and Snow Mountain Ranch, is being presented as the first step wherein local employers will be reaching out to let local residents and local high school students know that there are career and job opportunities to be found right here in Grand County.

A unique aspect of this employment fair is that the first hour is set aside for high school students in what is being specifically called a “career fair.” That’s right, local employers are interested in hiring our high school students for meaningful careers and even for summer internships. This step marks a beginning stage of Scott Springston’s (Grand County Higher Education) effort to incorporate the needs of employers with the needs of students in our job market.

High school students might find a local career. They can learn from local business leaders. They can hear small business presentation, perhaps line-up a summer internship. Students will event get the chance to interview local businesses.

This effort to reach out to local high school students from Middle Park High School and West Grand High School marks an important change in the approach to our local job market. In the past, it was just assumed by many students that upon graduation they’d be leaving the county. This career fair should help dispel the inevitability of that sort of thinking by helping students learn what is available for them locally.

Even better, a concerted effort is being undertaken by Springston to merge educational offerings for students after high school so that they align with demand by employers. Imagine that … students learning marketable skills that can result in real jobs in the local economy.

The job fair portion of this event, which takes place starting at 5:30 p.m., is being offered to help job seekers see what it takes to stay in the mountains, search for a new career and start a new life in the mountains here in Grand County.

Time and time again we hear about how the job market here is challenged because employers can’t find workers and workers can’t find places to live. Or, workers can find only a plethora of seasonal jobs when what they really want (and need) is year-round work. Innovative efforts are taking place between a wide range of county employers to try and address those issues.

Find out about those efforts at this job fair, which, of course, is open to the general public and is free.

Some of the workforce employers who will be at the meeting include Winter Park Resort, Granby Ranch, C Lazy U Ranch, Middle Park Medical Center, Devils Thumb Ranch, The Roofing Company, Colorado Timber Resources and others. Basically, what’s happening is that all the employers, who are facing similar problems, are working together to try and address the needs of their employees. By working and planning together, they hope to create a better work environment in Grand County.

Right now Grand County is facing barriers to growth that are being faced all across most of Colorado. Basically, businesses are having a hard time filling open positions. When these positions can’t be filled, growth and expansion ends up being stifled. But Grand County Economic Development is moving forward locally to address this concerns.

The career fair and job fair on Tuesday, March 6 is a promising first step in this process.

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