CHIEFLAND — Graduation is rapidly approaching for high school seniors around the Levy County area. And with the end of school drawing to a close, this is arguably the time seniors will start to figure out their plan post-graduation.

On May 5, in partnership with the Levy County School District and the College of Central Florida, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion held the Levy County Youth Job Fair for those within the age range of 16-24. According to an email received from Laura Byrnes, who is the director of communications for CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, this job fair “wasthe first of its kind in Levy County.”

Twenty-two organizations participated in the job fair, which was held at the College of Central Florida, Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus. According to Byrnes’ email, an additional 75 job-candidates were in attendance, as well. This included seniors from Cedar Key High School, Chiefland Middle High School and Williston Middle High School.

Furthermore, there were also recent graduates and young adults up to the age of 24 who also made their way to the job fair, according to Byrnes’ email.

Christie McElroy, who is the coordinator of Career Pathways for Levy County schools, said this job fair really began with her going to the high schools and visiting the senior classrooms. The students were then registered through Employ Florida and had the opportunity to create resumes.

“We talked about interview tips and all of those things so that students would be prepared for that,” she said.

McElroy said these job fairs are beneficial for not only students, but also businesses in the community, as well.

“Some of them (students) don’t realize all of the opportunities that are there in our community,” she said. “And even going to college, the reality is, they need a job while they are going to school. It provides for the need of the community as well as the need of the students.”

This youth job fair marked the second CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion has put on in the span of roughly two weeks. According to Byrnes’ email, the Marion County Youth Job Fair was held on April 28. Thirty-five businesses and over 100 young adults between the age of 16-24 attended. This was the seventh one to take place in Marion County.

As for Levy County, McElroy said she believes this is just the beginning of more youth fairs to come in the area.

“I think this was just the first one,” she said. “I think you will see more in the future with CareerSource and College of Central Florida and the Levy County School District working together to fill that need for the community as well as our students.”

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