Bay District Schools holds first-ever job fair Tuesday

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Optimistic students, hopeful employers, and district officials came out Tuesday to Bay District Schools’ first-ever job fair.

“I was looking for job opportunities for the summer,” Mosley High School Student Adrian Velazquez said.

“I saw a post about this and came out to see if I could get a job,” Bay Haven Charter School Student Graden LeMasters said.

BDS Director of Communications Sharon Michalik said the district tries to stay connected to the community and offers help when it can.

“Overwhelmingly we keep hearing the community needs employees and so we thought about our students,” said Michalik.

More than 30 vendors set up at the fair including restaurants, the military, and even local colleges.

Oceaneering International Plant Manager Wesley Cort said this is an interactive way for students to look at all types of jobs.

“It’s a good slice of everything of what Bay County can offer to everybody coming out of high school,” said Cort.

Cort says they’re looking for highly motivated kids, such as these, for the many positions his organization is offering.

“There’s a lot of different entry-level positions that we can have, that we can grow people within the company,” said Cort.

Michalik said the goal was to provide a less stressful, less formal way of interviewing.

“So I think that’s really helped students feel better about this process. [Students are saying] it’s myself and my five friends and we’re all coming in here to find a job,” said Michalik.

“I found a couple of good places I might apply for,” Mosley high School Student Justin Kwarteng said.

And some students even left having found a job.

“As they walk out the door I’m asking them, ‘did you find a job?’ and they’re like ‘yes, I got my first job!’ and that’s really exciting,” said Michalik.

“I’m looking forward to making a buck over the summer,” said Velazquez.

A buck and life lessons learned that will stay with these students for some time to come.

“To learn about the importance of being on time, being a part of a team, those types of things and those are life skills,” said Michalik.

Michalik said approximately 270 applications were handed out and completed. The exact number of jobs offered or accepted isn’t known at this time, but Michalik believes it’s a lot.

The district is holding another job fair Thursday at Bay High School from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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