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Job fair twist turning the tables on finding employment

Katelyn Boulanger/Selkirk Journal

Billy Sylvester, a participant in the reverse job fair, points to his skills as an employee which he presented to prospective employers

Billy Sylvester, a participant in the reverse job fair, points to his skills as an employee which he presented to prospective employers

Community Living Selkirk and H.A.L.E Autism wrapped up a 10 week long Job Smart course with a reverse job fair at the Gaynor Family Regional Library Feb. 8. The two-hour event provided the platform for participants to showcase their skills to potential employers.

“We have noticed that there are a lot of great prospective employees and a lot of times the biggest challenge with employment is the initial first contact step”  co-owner of H.A.L.E. Autism Kristian Hooker said.

The 10 week course followed the Job Smart course and was funded through a community collaboration grant provided by Autism Speaks Canada.

“Our program looks at the various unwritten social skills of employment” Hooker said.

The six participants at the job fair, who all had social development challenges, learned and discussed different scenarios that showcased what it meant to be an employee and a co-worker.

“The prospect of going through that interview process putting yourself out their and going to a job fair, having to approach people form different businesses was a really tough social barrier to pass. So we thought let’s do this the other way around. Let’s work will the young people having them recognizing their skills and their abilities and what they want to do in life,” said Lynn Hooker

Employers were invited to the job fair to talk to and learn more about the prospective employees.

Bill Sylvester, who currently works part-time as janitor and snow clearer, attended as a potential employee. He is hoping to find full-time employment.

“I liked (the course) I think that it was very helpful,” Sylvester said.

He thought the format of a reverse job fair made the process of finding work easier for him.

This is the second time that H.A.L.E. Autism and Community Living Selkirk have teamed up to put on a Job Smart course but the first time that they have held a reverse job fair for the participants.



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