Students showcase their talents at job fair

Clay Today
Posted 4/17/19

Local Clay County students got the chance to showcase their skills to potential employers at a reverse job fair held just for them.

Last week, Clay Today reported that a local reverse job fair …

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Students showcase their talents at job fair


Local Clay County students got the chance to showcase their skills to potential employers at a reverse job fair held just for them.

Last week, Clay Today reported that a local reverse job fair was being held in the Fleming Island Public Library for county students who had undergone a year of specialized internship training. Well, on April 15, that reverse job fair happened and while the students aren’t sure if they landed a job or not, many are hopeful.

“I’ve been interviewed and I hope to get a job in retail,” Tamara Koren, a student at the reverse job fair said. “I feel like it’s a good starting point for where I want to be.”

Koren isn’t quite sure exactly where she wants to be in the future, but she has a few defining characteristics she hopes that future holds. According to Koren, she wants a role in leadership where she can use American Sign Language to help others. She’s currently in college focusing on ASL and she said she could see herself in a counseling or therapist position.

At a reverse job fair, the would-be employees are the ones who set up booths while would-be employers walk from person to person, attempting to learn more about who they are and how they might be a good fit at their company. Dorrinda Swiger of Guidewell, a family of companies with names like Florida Blue in their wheelhouse, said she loves the change of pace reverse job fairs provide.

“This to me is just optimal,” Swiger said. “I can just walk around and not say the same speech over and over. Instead, I get an opportunity to personally meet the individuals to really see what they have and offer, and we’re a huge advocate for the military and individuals with special abilities so this event is just perfect.”

With companies like Florida Blue, it’d be easy to assume that Guidewell attended the reverse job fair with hopes to pick up an employee for a medical-field position, but Guidewell was actually on the look for a number of positions. According to Swiger, Guidewell was looking to fill positions in information technology, in their call center, clerk services, maintenance and even finance.

“We do a lot of things and most of our jobs aren’t outsourced so we’re always looking for more people to bring onto our campuses,” Swiger said.

While Swiger hadn’t yet interviewed Katrina Daily, it would seem that Daily would be a great fit for their company. That’s because Daily has spent the last year of her life interning at Kindred Hospital in Green Cove Springs. Here, Daily has cleaned the facility, helped patients, helped gardening efforts to spruce up the building and more.

“I can kind of do it all,” Daily said. “I really love cleaning and housekeeping, though, so I hope to get a job doing that today.”

This reverse job fair was staged as a result of the work of the Clay County School District and CareerSource. According to Atheia Inman of CareerSource, this is the first reverse job fair they’ve held and while it started slow, it had picked up steam by the end of it, hopefully solidifying it as an annual event.

“I’m very very excited to have seen this finally happen,” Inman said. “This is a great opportunity for everyone involved, I think, and I’m hoping to do this annually. It started slow, but we gained momentum. I’m excited to do this again one day.”


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