TULALIP – The sixth annual Snohomish County Career Fair provided job seekers on Tuesday with an opportunity to meet with employers actively looking to fill positions.
The job fair at Tulalip Resort Casino showcased five dozen employers from fields including aerospace and technology, law enforcement and the armed forces, construction trades, school districts and colleges, media, insurance, real estate and social services.
Application and interview tables gave jobs seekers space to fill out forms and prepare their resume and work samples.
Rosie Bazaute and Leticia Maclovio drove from Mount Vernon to check out potential jobs that would work with their family schedules.
“Many don’t seem to be hiring if you don’t have an education,” Bazaute said.
The drive down I-5 on a sunny day was still worth the time, though, Maclovio said. “We’re getting lots of information from different employers that we can look through,” pointing to her bag full of job materials, snacks and stress balls.
David Glenn from Everett said he came with several copies of his resume that included services and hospitality jobs over the past 15 years.
“I’m looking to move into a new career that builds off skills I already have, and I know there are jobs in the market, but I haven’t found the one ‘aha’ job just yet,” Glenn said.
Unlike first-time job seekers, Glenn was reflective of another group with other ideas in mind that workforce experts are seeing in larger numbers.
“Many of the visitors we are seeing are already employed, and they’re coming in looking for the next big opportunity,” said James Lapsley, a veterans employment representative that has helped staff the WorkSource Everett booth every year since the job fair started.
Plus, the thriving economy is pushing costs of living higher, and that runs the risk of leaving some local employees behind unless that can latch onto higher-paying jobs.
In talking to job seekers, Lapsley said, “It’s really about doing your research, and knowing what you’ve done and what you want to do.”
The job fair also serves as a valuable networking event.
For example, Elise Robinson, director of Human Resources at Everett Community College, at the fair introduced WorkSource staff to new dean of Business and Applied Technology, William Stuflick, who started two weeks ago. The introduction opened the door to future discussions about ways that EvCC and WorkSource could work together to bring even more jobs for students into the pipeline.
She said that during EvCC’s expansion, the school has had on average up to 10 exempt positions being hired and filled at any given time.
EvCC used two booth spaces, one for actual jobs, and the other a seating area to explore information for other career learning tracks and skills necessary to succeed in them.
For Eric DeJong, executive director of Teaching and Learning with Arlington Public Schools, this was his first year attending the job fair. Arlington, Everett and Snohomish school districts occupied an educators row.
Among the jobs APS highlighted was a benefit specialist, a year-round position that drew interest from some job seekers. DeJong said they were also seeking for classified workers for non-teaching positions such as school bus drivers and custodians.
The ongoing struggle for Arlington – and other districts – is substitute bus drivers. “We all looking for the same thing,” DeJong said.