Spring Career Carnival a big hit with employers, students and public

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Students and employers had a lot of dialogue at the inaugural Spring Career Carnival at the Prairie du Chien Performing Arts Center May 8. (Photo courtesy of Jim Bowman)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The 2019 Spring Career Carnival hosted by Driftless Development Inc., in partnership with HR Mastermind Group, at the Prairie du Chien High School Performing Arts Center on May 8 was quite a success for employers and potential employees alike.

“We had 25 businesses and six non-profits participate in the Spring Career Carnival-Job Fair which was a sellout of available spaces,” said Driftless Development Executive Director Jim Bowman. “We will re-configure to add more employers for the next one.  We turned away some employers due to lack of space.”

Bowman said there were 200 students (juniors and seniors) from Prairie du Chien, Seneca and North Crawford who came for the career planning portion. 

Dan Moris led a presentation of a video “4 Skills and 4 Steps to a Successful Career” and shared his and other’s experiences in planning for careers versus just a job. The video presentation was shown to students and job seekers to highlight the job skills needed in the workforce. 

“All in all, we felt this event was a success given the HR Mastermind Group’s initial attempt was planned only six weeks ago,” said Bowman.

The student portion of the event was from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. After the student event, members of the public seeking jobs met with employers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in a job fair setting.

“The job fair portion attracted three dozen job seekers which was below what we had hoped,” said Bowman. “The HR professionals attributed that to the full employment situation and tight labor market plus the weather was cold and rainy.”

Bowman said, however, that Driftless Development, HR Mastermind Group and the employers were all happy with the overall event and enthusiasm of attendees. “We intend to repeat this twice a year with a fall event with a date soon to be announced,” he said. “We we’re very pleased with the turnout for our first time.”

Bowman said all of the major businesses in Prairie du Chien and Crawford County were there. Tables and interview rooms were available for employers to meet with students and job seekers. Wi-Fi and computers were also available so that participants could complete online applications.

“Our goal was to help the companies get the word out that there are career opportunities and job openings,” said Bowman, who noted that there were also workshops for students and the public involving interview skills, resume’ writing and dressing for success. “We would like them to be prepared for success now and in the future.”

In addition, employer logos were on cards that were handed out to participants. “The cards helped to create a lot of dialogue between participants and employers,” said Bowman, who noted the cards were then all put into a barrel for a raffle. Every business provided a raffle prize and 30 prizes were drawn.

Bowman said the event was festive, active and upbeat, and the employers, Driftless Development and HR Mastermind Group are all looking forward to the next one.

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