Local Clark and West Skamania County businesses are invited to meet, recruit and hire local employees at the Industry Hiring Fair on February 27, 2020 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Washougal High School, 1201 39th Street Washougal.  The event is for job seekers of all ages and is jointly coordinated by Washougal, Camas and Stevenson/Carson School Districts.

“Our goal is to provide an opportunity for local businesses to access local jobseekers,” said Margaret Rice, WSD Career and Technical Education Director.  “We often hear folks say they want to see more connections between our schools and business.  We also hear from businesses that they are looking for quality employees and have a hard time filling open positions.  This is our chance to do both.”

Organizers include Rice, Derek Jaques, Camas School District CTE Director; Suz Clark-Bennett, Stevenson-Carson School District CTE Director; and Washougal Career Counseling staff members, Lisa Leonard, Career Specialist and Sharon Watts, Career Center Secretary. They are currently seeking employees from all industries to participate in the fair and share job and career opportunities with community members as well as students.  “We are inviting businesses that represent industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, finance and even apprenticeships to take part,” Leonard said.

“We are excited to provide high school students and community members from all the three towns this first-hand knowledge of what job opportunities are out there in our community,” Jaques said.  “This also gives our businesses the access they need to hire and fill open positions with quality candidates.”

“This is an all-ages hiring fair,” Clark-Bennett stressed. “There are plenty of adults in our communities who are looking for employment or are ready to make a career shift. Having access to local businesses in this way makes it easier and more likely for that to happen.”

Collectively, the group has watched Battle Ground School District host a successful hiring fair for the past few years. “We felt like it was an opportunity for us to use a process that we know works and apply it to our areas of West Clark and East Skamania Counties to support business and student needs,” Leonard added.”  Battle Ground Public Schools will host its 2020 Industry Fair from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main Street.

“This is another real-world experience for our students and supports the important high school and beyond work happening in each of our districts and across the State,” Rice said.  A special pre-event workshop will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. for potential applicants to create or brush up their resume and help them be interview ready at the fair. “Krista DiGiacomo, owner of Express Employment, is partnering with us to provide this opportunity and enhance our event,” stated Leonard.

Participating business as of mid-January include Employment Express, Operating Engineers 701, Amazon, Skamania Lodge, Miller Manufacturing, LSW Architects, United States Census, Workforce Southwest Washington, McDonalds, Touckmark and more!

Businesses looking for talented employees can register to host a table by calling Sharon Watts at 360-954-3119 or visit www.washougal.k12.wa.us/ihf/ and filling out a registration form.   Job seekers can see a preview of businesses who will be represented on the website as well.

“We encourage anyone in our communities looking for employment or interested in making a career change to attend,” said Rice.  “We hope this fair becomes an annual event and helps strengthen the relationship and partnerships between schools and local industry.”