Akron jobs fair goes virtual, reaches out to area's left-behind residents

The coronovirus pandemic makes traditional job fairs, where job seekers meet face to face with prospective employers in an enclosed space, risky business for participants.

So ConxusNEO, the Northeast Ohio job-connecting organization, and its Akron-area partners are experimenting with a jobs and training fair on Oct. 20 that will be virtual. Virus-free face-to-face interactions with as many as 25 employers will take place over cellphone and video screens, not booths, tables and desks.

The focus will be on helping local residents who largely have been left behind economically or are underemployed to find well-paying jobs that offer advancement, among the top goals of the Elevate Greater Akron initiative. 

The event, called the RAISE Good Jobs for Greater Akron Virtual Job & Training Fair, will run from 4-7 p.m. It's a successor to an in-person jobs fair the groups sponsored in early March at Akron's Buchtel Community Learning Center just before the pandemic closed things down.

Organizers know that about 75% of open jobs are filled through networking, said Sue Lacy, president of ConxusNEO. 

But the vast majority of people they want to reach don't do the kind of networking that results in hiring, she said. The RAISE initiative, which stands for Reach, Access, Inform, Support and Elevate, aims to change that, she said. 

RAISE takes its partners' resources and goes directly into those neighborhoods where there is little to no networking, Lacy said.

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For more information, contact:


Jim Mackinnon
Reporter
jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com