The Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) Adult Center for Transition's (ACT) Employment First Program hosted its first reverse job fair on Tuesday, Aug. 15 to connect employers to local job-seekers with disabilities who are ready to put their talents to work.
The reverse job fair offered employers the opportunity to meet with young job-seekers one-on-one as they showcased their strengths and demonstrated just how much value an Employment First Program client can bring to any business or organization. Job-seeking ACT students and graduates set up tables with copies of their resume, prepared presentations and visual representations of their skills and career goals. Twelve local businesses attended the reverse job fair, including Kmart, South Jersey Federal Credit Union, Taylor's Hair Salon and the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce.
For current ACT student and eager job-seeker Vince Niederman who has a passion for the food-service industry along with an interest in maintenance work, the day was a resounding success: "This is very nice. I like talking to people and giving them my resume. I like working in food service."
Employer Kathy Heid, who attended to represent the South Jersey Federal Credit Union, left with an equally favorable opinion. "This has been a great opportunity to meet with people and take the time to explore potential employees," remarked Heid. "It's a valuable experience in interviewing and building confidence for the students, as well."
ACT's Employment First Program is a grant-funded program under the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The program seeks to prepare disabled job hunters for employment while working within the community to establish partnerships with local businesses to create the employment opportunities their clients need. Employment First job coaches guide clients through every step of identifying, preparing for and obtaining their goal of paid employment.
"I am overwhelmed at the participation by the community businesses coming out to support our prospective job candidates," said the program's employment specialist and supervisor Alice Smith. "Our clients went above and beyond with the work that they put into each of their presentations. Some of our ACT students volunteered to help the other students who are seeking employment. It was a role reversal for them and very empowering."
For more information about RCGC's Adult Center for Transition and the Employee First Program, visit RCGC.edu/ACT.
Rowan College at Gloucester County is located at 1400 Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.