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Youth Job Fair planning underway in Sunnyside

The third annual Youth Job Fair is quickly approaching and various organizations began the lengthy planning process yesterday (Thursday) at WorkSource in Sunnyside to make this the most successful event yet.

WorkSource is just one of several agencies that has partnered together to bring this community event to Sunnyside's youth in recent years.

The Youth Job Fair partners share responsibility and leadership during the planning process and each organization brings their own connections and resources to the program, but they are hoping Sunnyside business owners, managers and residents will step forward to assist in this unique skill building opportunity for the area's youth.

The Youth Job Fair will provide students the opportunity to take a pre-registration class for the Youth Job Fair at various locations that will teach them important job skills, such as interview techniques, building a resume, dressing for success and keeping a job.

The skills built through these classes will culminate at the Youth Job Fair where students will get the opportunity to be interviewed.

In the job fair's first year, nearly 300 students were interviewed. Last year, because of the altered format that required the pre-registration class, approximately 200 students were interviewed.

While the interviews are aimed at providing students with experience, approximately 20-30 four-week community summer jobs were available for interested teens.

At the moment, the planning committee is seeking organizations or individuals interested in assisting with the planning process, promotion, or are able to donate resources or people to the fair.

They are also seeking businesses that may be able to offer students at least a four-week summer job. Jobs must be able to provide students with a $695 salary, though some scholarships through Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley are available for businesses not able to cover the cost.

Jack Fitzgerald, operations manager for WorkSource Sunnyside, said, "We are looking to give kids something to do other than get out and get in trouble during the summer while at the same time teaching them valuable job search skills that will benefit them throughout their careers."

The Youth Job Fair will take place in April, just after spring break. More information on the community event can be obtained by calling Fitzgerald at 509-836-1125.

Organizations partnering with WorkSource include Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley, GMC Training Institute, Opportunities Industrialization Center, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic/Northwest Community Action Center, Sunnyside's Promise and the city of Sunnyside.

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