The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Job fair focuses on youth

 

Jamie Cushman

Dakota Francis, left, and Isabelle Equia fill out applications during the Curry/Roosevelt Youth Job Fair held at the New Mexico Workforce Connection office in Clovis on Thursday.

CLOVIS - While it's not particularly easy for anyone to find a job these days, it can be especially challenging for people in their teens and early 20s to find work for several reasons, including age and lack of experience.

That's why the New Mexico Workforce Connection office in Clovis hosted a youth job fair for the first time on Thursday. The job fair was designed specifically to meet the needs of people ages 16 to 22.

"We all have job fairs in our communities that are towards the general public, but you'll have teenagers who have no job experience going up to 50-year-olds who have years of experience behind them, and so they get intimidated," youth career development specialist Breanna Davis said.

"So we wanted to make sure we have an event directed to them where they're going to be comfortable talking to employers and knowing that they're going to have a decent shot at success coming out of it."

Davis said the job fair was intended to offer different types of employment opportunities including local government (Curry and Roosevelt counties), emergency services (the Clovis Fire Department), in addition to more part-time work with local restaurants and child care services.

Eastern New Mexico University student Isabelle Equia said she appreciated the part-time and seasonal opportunities that restaurants provide.

"I'm just trying to find something to make a little bit of money before I go back to school," Equia said. "I don't want too many hours but I don't want no job because I want money. That's why I stay a little bit more into the restaurant (industry)."

Dakota Francis, 18, was also looking for work, but said he has not had much success.

"Seeing how I've applied for several different places and still haven't gotten a call back, it's pretty difficult, especially experience wise," Francis said. "With so little experience very few people want to hire you, so I do think it's kind of difficult to try and get yourself out there."

Davis said teenagers encounter barriers to employment that their elder job hunters do not, as many companies won't hire employees younger than 18 due to insurance reasons.

"I see it day in and day out, a lot of our youths in our community, even the adults, have these barriers whether it's transportation, day care needs or they simply just don't have the information, they don't know where to get the information, they don't know where to start," Davis said.

In addition to the employers on hand, the event included a support service room where military recruiters and the United Way were passing out information, as well as the Motor Vehicle Department to talk about the REAL ID.

"That's a huge benefit just to get information across to the young people, to even just adults coming in with their young people. It's just good information all around," Davis said.

 

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