More than 2,300 people in search of employment met with hiring managers from 100 employers at the “Hampton Get Hired & Resource Fair” on February 6. Many of those candidates sharpened their job search skills in advance by attending workshops with Goodwill.
Goodwill was a proud co-sponsor of the event, hosted by the City of Hampton’s Economic Development Department at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Attendance broke last year’s record of 2,100 job seekers.
In the weeks leading up to the event, Goodwill provided job fair workshops at its Hampton Community Employment Center (CEC) to ensure attendees were prepared with job training and employment resources. Job seekers received assistance with resume writing, interview skills, professional image and networking with employers.
“Going to Goodwill was crucial to my success at this job fair,” said Tyreek Stephens. He is looking for a job after moving to Hampton from Montana to be closer to family. “My mom saw a flyer for the event and mentioned Goodwill’s workshops. An employment specialist helped me condense my resume from a two-page, run-on sentence to one sculpted, professional page,” Stephens said.
Brooke Wade traveled from Newport News in search of office management and administrative opportunities. “I saw a post about the event on Facebook and clicked a link to Goodwill’s preparation workshops,” she said.
After calling the Hampton CEC, Wade met with an employment specialist who helped with her resume and also gave advice on how to network with employers. “I was much more prepared today after going to Goodwill. It’s wonderful. I already recommended their services to my friends,” said Wade.
Although the city has held this job fair in the past, this is the first time city officials specifically directed job seekers to Goodwill’s Hampton CEC before the event. “We promoted Goodwill as a place for job training and employment resources right here in the community,” said Pam Croom, Hampton’s workforce development coordinator. “Goodwill is a tremendous partner to the City of Hampton,” she said.
Goodwill opened the Hampton CEC in April 2017 as part of its strategy to expand its services and become more accessible to job seekers across Hampton Roads. Since its opening, Goodwill has served more than 1,200 people in search of employment.
“We are excited and committed to creating pathways of opportunities and success for job seekers on the Peninsula, as well as across Hampton Roads,” said Shawn Smith, Goodwill’s director of workforce development. “Hampton’s planning, foresight and collaborative spirit has truly worked to serve the needs of its employer and job seeker communities. We are proud to be a part of that effort and continue the work to help individuals find sustainable employment, even beyond the job fair,” he said.
Caleb Schoell is self-employed, but he came to the event to find a job that would put his technology and graphic design skills to use. “A family member told me how Goodwill could help me before the job fair. I felt prepared, and Goodwill gave me the confidence to present myself during these type of events,” he said.
Other co-sponsors of the job fair include Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, Peninsula Worklink, Virginia Employment Commission, Hampton City Schools and Jobs for Life.