Community members participate in the Kenai Peninsula Job and Career Fair at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Community members participate in the Kenai Peninsula Job and Career Fair at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Job fair to spotlight opportunities and tools for career development

50 vendors together to connect with job seekers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Annual Kenai Peninsula Job and Career Fair will be held at the Old Carrs Mall on Thursday, bringing 50 vendors together to connect with job seekers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sara Bieber, Gulf Coast regional manager for the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Department, said Monday that the annual fair has been going on for decades.

“It’s a unique opportunity for us to get employers and job seekers all in the same room,” she said. “If you’re considering a career change or maybe you’re coming into the job market and you don’t know what you want to do yet, you have those opportunities to explore.”

Businesses in the oil field and the health care industry will be represented, as well as transportation, the school district, banking, Alaska State Troopers and others. Bieber said there will also be training providers, like Kenai Peninsula College, Kenai Peninsula Driving Instruction and AVTEC.

There will be opportunities to connect immediately with employers, or to explore industries and get information, Bieber said. The focus is on making connections and taking steps toward “self-sufficiency and careers.”

Bieber said those other opportunities extend the various services offered at the Peninsula Job Center. That’s why the fair, which is traditionally held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, will instead be at the Old Carrs Mall, where the center is located.

A big element they’re looking to spotlight is career support and training services, she said. Federal and state grants are available to help with career development. Bieber said that assistance is available for tuition and materials, relocation expenses and traveling to interviews.

“We have scholarship opportunities available,” she said. In addition, the center can help with resumes and cover letters, and they offer workshops.

The benefit of the job fair format extends to the businesses, she said. They make face-to-face connections as they discuss their opportunities — even offering on-the-spot interviews.

Last year, over 400 people attended the fair, well below the around 700 who showed up in years before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bieber said. This year, there will be more vendors, and Bieber said they intend to surpass that attendance.

For more information about the Annual Kenai Peninsula Job and Career Fair, visit jobs.alaska.gov/jobfairs.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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