Job Fair Offers Diverse Opportunities for GCC Students

Nairi Chopurian
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Over fifty different organizations were represented to recruit from Glendale Community College’s 17,000 students at the fifth-annual Job Fair hosted by Student Employment Services in the San Rafael Plaza on April 10.

Kathy Kostjal, student services technician for the student employment services and Nane Kakosian, student services assistant, organized the event with the cooperation of Mirta Lorenzo, manager of student employment services.

Several employers present at the Fair were enthusiastic about providing possible growth and job opportunities to so many students.

Sara Watson, a representative of the Glendale Youth Alliance was at the Fair. GYA recruits at-risk kids in the community and gives them constructive occupations. GYA, hired by the city of Glendale fire department and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to do hillside clearings and lot cleanings, is recruiting team leaders for their youth workers. “We give them somewhere to go after school” – a `diversion program,'” said Watson. Member numbers climb to about 250 during the summer; as of now, there are 25.

Sylvia Garcia, 35, picked up an application for Glendale Adventist Hospital, also represented at the Fair. She was not disappointed.

“They sent me an appointment application in the mail,” she said.

Jorge Ramirez of Pre-Paid Legal Services, said his U.S. and Canadian legal services marketing firm “is a great opportunity to make some money, and it is a great benefit for the family because it provides for a lawyer.”

The City of Alhambra police, was looking for police cadets and police officers. The Department of Parks and Recreation, seeking new rangers and park cadets, was also represented, as well as the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project, a non-profit literacy project. HELP currently needs volunteers willing to be trained as tutors and mentors for illiterate students. HELP’s goal is that illiterate students reach an eighth-grade literacy level in three to 12 months.

Most tables, like the Greek Theatre’s, had so many people come to them by noon that “half [of the employers] were already gone because they ran out of supplies, so there was no reason to stick around,” said Kakosian.

Mary Rico, 19, said “I was looking for a part time job with the Greek Theatre but they ran out of supplies, so I applied online.”

“I didn’t really pick up anything because they all required fluent English,” said Rita Bezik, a GCC ESL student. The disadvantage of not knowing English hindered students like Bezik from actively participating with the rest of the student body.

The employers made reservations for a space at the job fair by contacting members of the student employment services beforehand, said Kakosian.

As the day of the job fair grew near, letters were sent out to all employers who had made contact with the employment services. The attached forms were filled out and sent back indicating whether or not the employers will attend the fair.

While “cost is associated with the time we put in,” said Lorenzo, the only major allowance she and her colleagues at Student Employment Services desired was more time Still, “we manage to do it in the time allocated to us,” she said.

The Fair is held only in spring, usually on the second Wednesday of April, but the staff of employment services is thinking of changing that.

“We’re thinking, perhaps we should do it in the fall too,” said Lorenzo.

Students who did not make it to the Job Fair can still pick up applications from Kathy Kostjal or Nane Kakosian in the job placement center, located on the second floor of the San Rafael building.