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Job fair for high school seniors who want to join work force

Posted at 9:25 PM, Apr 06, 2021

BALTIMORE — We know a major factor in poverty and crime in Baltimore is access to quality education and good jobs. Around 62 percent of graduating seniors don't immediately go to college— and that’s okay as long as they are on a career path.

WMAR-2 News’ Eddie Kadhim shows us how Baltimore City Schools is teaming up with the Mayor's Office to get graduating seniors on the right path.

Not surprisingly the Maryland unemployment rate skyrocketed in 2020– we’ve extensively covered how many are people depending on unemployment and the troubles they are having.

But there is hope on the horizon as Baltimore City's unemployment numbers improve and employers are looking for people in all sorts of fields.

The Baltimore City Mayor's Office usually holds a huge job fair in person to provide a network for students looking to enter the job field right out of high school.

Yvette Clark is the Chief of Employer Services for the Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development.

“When they are out of high school they really don’t know where to go to get a job,” Clark said. “This is one introduction to the workforce development system. Or a place where they can go to have someone help you get a job. Our conversation with them is to focus on their transferable skills and what they learned in school and how to position yourself to self yourself or skills and abilities to an employer.”

They usually get around 100 employers and 300 students to meet and set up follow up interviews.

Because of the pandemic it's happening virtually this year.

The silver lining is they hope more students will be able to sign up.

The job fair will span three days over zoom on May 10th, 12th, and 14th.

Adenike Akintilo works for the Baltimore City Public Schools Office of College and Career readiness.

“It’s not just connecting to a job it’s also building the skills to get that job,” Akintilo said. “Not everyone is going to walk away from this fair employed, they’ll have a resume, a LinkedIn Profile. They’ll know how to have an elevator pitch and how to network.”

Around 30 percent of the students end up going through a job training or they get hired.

“People don’t know where to come and get a job and think jobs are scarce,” said Clark. “We have a lot of employers coming to us in Baltimore City and the region who have openings. They just want us to help them find people. They want us to find job seekers who are ready to go to work.”

This Friday, they have a careers in health care and STEM event to talk about opportunities in those fields.

Starting next week every Wednesday there are workshops focused on career readiness to prepare for the job fair.

They want more students and employers to sign up for the job fair so if you want to get involved and are a student click here, if you're an employer, click here.