About 200 students attended the first Williston High School Job Fair on Wednesday, April 10, at the Jon Cole Gymnasium.
The hiring event was designed to teach teenagers about construction and trades opportunities in Williston. About 20 businesses attended the event to fill nearly 60 job openings. Organizers said they were pleased with the strong turnout.
“There were companies that left with a list of 5-10 students names, and we asked them if they were excited, and they said, ‘Oh yeah, this was great. I’ve got 10 students to follow up with. I’d hire a couple of them anytime.’,” said Mark Schneider, City of Williston Director of Development Services. “I think everybody felt pretty good about today, which was pretty neat.”
Schneider said originally the hiring event was designated for construction and trades jobs exclusively; but that other industries such as retail, hospitality and government were interested in getting involved. Some of the participating businesses were F & F Sprinklers, Lund’s Landing, North Dakota Department of Transportation, Muth Electric and Barstad Builders.
While some students were looking for summer work, others were seeking information for the future.
“Let’s get them interested in being an electrician, for example, and maybe next year they’ll come back and apply,” said Schneider.
The job fair was split into two sessions; one for 18-year-old students and another for 16-17-year-old job seekers.
“Even if they are just learning what’s out there, and they don’t get a job, it’s important to be exposed to what a job is,” said Schneider. “I told some of the kids to visit with some of the 26 booths and ask them what they do, because the students may not necessarily know what a plumber does.”
Walmart and Williston Auto had the most job openings. Walmart was seeking to hire 30 students while Williston Auto had 10 positions to fill. Both firms were pleased with the response from students.
“Many job offers have already gone out to students and the Williston Building Safety Department has had a few follow-up phone calls from trades contractors,” said Schneider.
To learn more about the job opportunities in Williston contact Job Service North Dakota or the Williston Building Safety Department.