School districts unite in planning of Industry Fair

Patterned after the Battle Ground Public Schools Industry Fair and last year’s first-ever East County Industry Hiring Fair, the new event will be offered virtually

Clark County job seekers of all ages will have the opportunity to sharpen their application skills and meet a vast array of area businesses at the upcoming, free Southwest Washington Industry Fair.

Patterned after the successful and long-standing Battle Ground Public Schools Industry Fair and last year’s first-ever East County Industry Hiring Fair, the new event is a combination of the two and will be offered virtually on Thu., March 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. Mini virtual workshops featuring valuable information such as resume writing, interviewing skills, and tips on creating your LinkedIn profile will be offered Mon., March 15 through Thu., March 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. Experts from WorkforceSW, Partners in Careers, Express Employment and several others will lead these learning sessions.

The event is jointly coordinated by the Career and Technical Education Departments of Battle Ground Public Schools, Camas School District, Hockinson School District, La Center School District, Stevenson-Carson School District and Washougal School District.

“The primary goal is to provide authentic career learning opportunities for students, families and community members,” said Cindy Arnold, CTE director for BGPS. “But the fair will look differently due to the pandemic and COVID safety protocols in place.” 

“Rather than business representatives standing behind a table greeting people in person, we will use a live streaming platform,” said Sean Tamura, Career Specialist for CSD. Participants will log in to learn about a specific business, ask questions and discover work opportunities that may exist. Organizers invited businesses from around Southwest Washington that represent a variety of industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, finance and even apprenticeships to take part in the fair. There are more than 30 businesses so far eager to share information with the community.

Although completely free, event attendees will be required to sign up for advanced tickets to participate in the sessions and Industry Fair with local businesses. Tickets and a list of sessions and participating businesses can be found at https://www.battlegroundps.org/industry-fair/

“We are excited to provide high school students and community members from throughout the county this first-hand knowledge of what job opportunities are out there in our community,” said Kevin Doyle, CTE director for LaCenter SD and BGHS Career Guidance counselor. “This also gives our businesses the access they need to hire and fill open positions with quality candidates.”

“The fair is for all ages,” Lisa Leonard, career specialist for WSD explained. “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.”

“Even during the pandemic, we are looking forward to offering a real-world experience for our students which supports the important high school and beyond work happening in each of our districts and across the State,” said Margaret Rice, CTE Director for WSD. “It is amazing what can happen when we come together as an educational team. There is a lot of strength in the collaborative efforts of this group and we are all thrilled to be able to host such an important event for our communities.”

“We encourage anyone in our communities looking for employment or interested in making a career change to attend,” said Wendi Russell, CTE Director for SCSD. “We hope this fair can be offered in person next year and continues to strengthen the relationship and partnerships between schools and local industry.”

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