North Texas Daily

Denton’s second Community Job Fair offers partnership, growth for the city

Denton’s second Community Job Fair offers partnership, growth for the city

Denton’s second Community Job Fair offers partnership, growth for the city
September 01
13:49 2018

About 370 job-seekers gathered Tuesday at the Denton Civic Center for the city’s second Community Job Fair, an exposition geared toward residents who are currently seeking a job or are jobless. Fifty-nine businesses registered this year, marking a slight increase over the 57 in 2017.

Travis Veselka, director of membership & marketing for the Chamber of Commerce, said the size of the building limits business turnout for the event.

“[The venue] was picked because it has a large parking lot,” Veselka said. “It’s a very useful and successful building. But we’re basically limited by the floor space.”

Veselka said Board of Directors chairs Monica Glenn and Jessica Deroche first considered a job fair after discussing unemployment at a homelessness coalition meeting. Glenn and Deroche organized a partnership committee with the City of Denton, Chamber of Commerce, Denton ISD, United Way of Denton County, Workforce Solutions and North Central Texas College to address joblessness.

While the event was a response to unemployment, Veselka said the current business climate is in-line with normal levels of unemployment.

Veselka said the employment rate for Denton is artificially inflated, most likely due to the student population that moves in and out as young professionals graduate and move to other cities. This particular population is marked by the Chamber in order to maintain a more accurate image of the city’s job market.

“Certainly, the healthy climate of our community means that we have more businesses offering more jobs, so it just seems like a good thing,” Veselka said.

Veselka said the fair sets up students and young professionals for success by offering experiences or job opportunities that might not have come up on common job boards.

UPS was one of the large companies at the Denton Civic Center are is an example of the effect that growth in North Texas has on the Denton workforce. The large packing and shipping corporation caters to its student employees by offering tuition reimbursements. Kara Dry

“We aimed specifically for Denton businesses, but there are enough bigger companies in the area that employ enough citizens that they make a good economic net benefit for everyone,” Veselka said.

Employment opportunities ranged from seasonal work to professional-level positions.

Michelle Cunningham, Business Development Officer for Denton Economic Development, said the job fair and other resources for employment are sources of upward mobility. Cunningham is in charge of policies and programs for the community and increasing quality and quantity of businesses in order to increase the tax base for the city.

“Raising the tax base increases resources for the school district, police, parks and workforce development,” Cunningham said.

Amid rows of businesses connecting with inquirers, UNT System recruiters answered prospective applicants’ questions.

“We are here to fill positions in UNT System,” Human Resources Recruiter Jackie Brown said. “There are about 150 to 200 open positions [within HR and other system departments] at a time.”

NCTC parked its Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) trailer, a mobile vocational tool that offered attendees a space to print resumes and get interview tips from representatives of the college. While this facet of the fair was geared toward adult job-seekers, the city acknowledged the opportunities available to students and young professionals. 

“[Positions directed at students] offer chances to learn on the job, get involved with teamwork,” Cunningham said. “They can gain an overview of companies and industries of interest.”

She added that partners of the fair have worked to form a consortium to appeal to adult job-seekers. The coalition aims to streamline the process of getting a General Education Diploma, or GED.

When considering the future of the job fair, Cunningham said the city intends to host the fair at least annually and potentially biannually. She said the event offers feedback for what is needed in the area in terms of business expansion and public resources.

Veselka added that some of the businesses and entities will have their job openings filled and will not necessarily return for another job fair. Veselka’s hope is that this will create a functional cycling of businesses and public awareness of opportunities in Denton.

Featured Image: More than 300 people attended the Denton Community Job Fair that featured over dozens of job vendors from the North Texas area. Companies such as Buccee’s and UPS were both at the Denton Civic Center and are just two examples of the effect that growth in North Texas has on the Denton workforce. Kara Dry

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Ally Zarate

Ally Zarate

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