Jobs EXPO Supports Families in Texas

Jobs EXPO Supports Families in Texas

Gorman, Charlotte

Having a job is an important component of strong and resilient families.

Through the collaborative efforts of Texas Cooperative Extension-Texas A & M University System-Johnson County, the Johnson County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board, and the Cleburne Times-Review newspaper, a successful Jobs and Job Training EXPO was conducted at the Civic Center in Cleburne, Texas in the spring of 2004. Support was provided by the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce, Hill College, the North Central Texas Work Force, Texas Cooperative Extension, and 29 volunteers.

The purpose of the EXPO was to bring employers and potential employees together in one location to provide an opportunity to make a number of contacts in a short period of time. The idea for the EXPO stemmed from a need identified by the Johnson County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board-help people find jobs.

Working together, the FCS Agent, representatives of the Johnson County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board, and the Cleburne Times-Review newspaper established the objectives of the EXPO, designed the layout, and distributed the tasks related to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the activity. The tasks included publicity, contacting exhibitors, involving other organizations and groups, arranging for the physical setup, and recruiting volunteers to assist with registration and other tasks.

More than 600 job seekers registered for the 2004 EXPO. Of the 313 individuals responding to a follow-up questionnaire, 100 reported that they received job offers; many participants had more than one offer. Of those who did not receive job offers, 80 had invitations for personal interviews. In addition, 146 were asked to submit resumes.

Participants who completed the evaluation ranged in age from 16 to over 60 years. The greatest number of participants was in the 41 to 50 age group (61); 50 individuals were in the 36 to 40 age range; and 48 were in the 51 to 60 range.

Positive comments from participants who completed the evaluation included: “Glad you had it,” “Well organized, friendly, great selection,” “A great way to explore job possibilities,” “Well timed and placed,” “Very informative and exciting,” and “I was made to feel welcome.”

A few participants offered suggestions for improving the EXPO, such as “Have more booths and greater variety and types of jobs.”

Exhibitors at the EXPO included: AFLAC, Avon, City of Cleburne, Cleburne Chamber of Commerce, Cleburne Independent School District, James Hardie Building Products, Hill College, Johnson County Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Manpower, Navy Reserve, North Central Texas Work Force, Remington College, Southwestern Adventist University, Target Distribution Center, the U.S. Army, and Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Contact cagorman@digitex.net

Charlotte Gorman, PhD, is a County Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, at Texas Cooperative Extension-Texas A & M University System.

Copyright American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Jan 2005

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