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Bastrop brings companies and jobseekers together

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Press Release:

BASTROP BRINGS COMPANIES AND JOBSEEKERS TOGETHER

Unique Job Fair May 8 -9 addresses needs of employers and potentialemployees concerned about quality of life issues as well as jobs

BASTROP, TEXAS, April 28, 2015 – The Bastrop Youth and Adult Job Fair coming up May 8-9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bastrop Convention Center, 1408 Chestnut Street, Bastrop, Texas, is designed to help job seekers locate good jobs, change careers, or explore employment options, and to showcase Bastrop to employers as a good location to live and work. The City of Bastrop, Bastrop Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, and Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area will host the unique two-day event which features a Bastrop Youth Career Day and an Adult Job Fair.

“Bastrop is a diverse community filled with everything from skilled labor to PhD’s, but has never hosted an event that could bring area workers and employers together in one place,” said Kelly Gilleland, the newest Bastrop City Council member. “I know there are many citizens looking for better opportunities, and there are companies here and nearby that have excellent jobs, on-the-job training, great benefits, and positive work environments, but they struggle to get the word out about what they have to offer. I wondered if there was a way to get our local talent together with employers in the region, and envisioned that it could serve the dual purpose of letting out-oftown employers see how vibrant our community is and what a great place Bastrop is for opening an office, branch, or a new facility.”

As it turned out, when Gilleland took her job fair idea to the local Texas Workforce Solutions office, she found they were in discussions with the Bastrop Independent School District (BISD), looking for ways to help students chart career paths and plan for their futures. There was an opportunity to combine the two projects into one event that would be unique and compelling for both students and adults seeking career options and companies looking for good employees.

Friday, May 8th, will be Youth Career Day, when juniors and seniors from Bastrop and Cedar Creek high schools can ask questions, practice interview skills, and learn about current and future employment trends. Employers will be able to scout future employees, market their brand/name, and spread the word about their opportunities. Skits on job search “soft skills” like interviewing will be put on by the Bastrop High School Performing Arts group. Students will get to interview for immediate hire opportunities, but more importantly, according to Gilleland, via small group roundtable discussions with companies they may never have heard of or considered, students will get the bigger picture of the difference between a job and a career. 

“The youth job fair is a great opportunity for the students at Bastrop ISD,” added Les Hudson, director of Career and Technical Education at BISD. “This job fair will create a conduit between the businesses that need employees and the students looking for career opportunities in the Bastrop area. This is also a great opportunity for our graduates that are going off to college to see that Bastrop has a lot to offer when they get their degree.”

Saturday, May 9th, is devoted to the Adult Job Fair. Adults looking for a new job, a better job, or even a new career will have the opportunity to interview with more than 50 participating companies, many of which offer on-the-job training or paid training. Some companies plan to hire “on the spot.”

Both days will also include military recruiters, as well as post-secondary educators, including trade schools and local colleges. The Bastrop Rotary Club will be on hand as volunteers for the event, and will help sponsor a hospitality suite for the employers. Workforce Solutions is conducting ongoing job fair preparatory classes, and local employer Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative has volunteered to put together a “clothes closet” filled with suitable interview attire available free to any job seeker at the Workforce Solutions office in Bastrop.

“This event is truly unifying the public spirit of our community,” said Bastrop Chamber president Becki Womble. “The Chamber is proud to help bring solutions to the needs of local businesses as well as to our citizens. And, by including Bastrop ISD’s 11th and 12th graders, we are helping to grow a strong workforce that will help Bastrop continue to thrive.”

“One of the missions of the Bastrop EDC is to bring meaningful employment to our citizens, and an annual job fair is a great way to support that effort,” said Angela Ryan, assistant director of the BEDC. “This is the only event we know of that serves both the needs of our current (adult) workforce and future (student) workforce. The job fair is a great opportunity to showcase Bastrop as an attractive community to do business; we have a great workforce, excellent quality of life, and friendly and supportive community. The BEDC is here to support our local employers in their continued growth and success. With all the positives happening in Bastrop, the BEDC is getting a tremendous amount of interest from businesses looking to expand into our community, and the BEDC is here to help.”

The job fair will host employers looking for ‘no experience required’ to ‘college degree preferred,’ and many will showcase their on-the-job training programs. “We encourage everyone to come out and see what these companies have to offer, and show these companies that Bastrop has a skilled and eager workforce that can support them,” Gilleland said. “A city’s economic development efforts often look at ‘big picture’ effects – how a community as a whole benefits from projects – but it is also important for individual citizens to feel the personal impacts of improving our local economy. If even a handful of our citizens find jobs through this first job fair, we can consider the effort a success.”

See www.bastropcareerfair.com for a list of participating companies and more information or contact any of the sponsors: City of Bastrop (Kelly Gilleland, 512-718-1244); BEDC (Angela Ryan, 512-303-9700); Bastrop Chamber of Commerce (Becki Womble, 512-303-0558); or the Workforce Solutions (512-303-3916).

Media Contacts: Kelly Gilleland, City of Bastrop, 512-718-1244; or Becki Womble, 512-303-0558.

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