The Public School System Cooperative Training and Job Fair was held yesterday afternoon at the Royal Taga Hall of Saipan World Resort, bringing together about 150 public high school students to see what is available in the job market.
The PSS cooperative education program is a high school course that integrates classroom instruction and on-the-job training. It covers résumé drafting, financial literacy, money management, and career management, among other things.
Tenorio said at least 65 companies participated in the job fair, including hotels, private firms, government agencies, and restaurants, among others.
“We had some companies actually showing up today asking to be a part of the program,” he said.
Tenorio said that PSS has been doing the program for quite some time now but recently expanded it to include more companies. In the past, the program just had between 20 and 50 companies.
“We’re looking to expand more. This is only for public high schools: Saipan Southern High School, Marianas High School, and Kagman High School,” he said.
The job fair started at 1pm and ended at 4pm, giving students ample time to get to know several companies and hopefully set up an interview.
“After the job fair, the companies set up interview dates for the students. The students will then report to the actual business and learn from there. We don’t place the students in jobs; the students have to interview for the job and accept the offer,” he said.
Tenorio said that about five teachers handle the co-op program in different high schools on Saipan.
Diann Torres, co-op teacher at SSHS, said it is her first time to handle the program. She has 22 students under her and they were all at the job fair.
“This year I took a new role as a co-op teacher. The students under me are all scattered around in hopes of finding a job to train in. I hope that by tomorrow some of the students will call and say that they can’t be in class because they have a job interview,” Torres said.
One student under Torres, Isaac Anderson, 18, said he is excited about the job fair this year.
“I’ve hit G4S, Pacific Islands Club, Laolao Bay Golf and Resort, and Coral Ocean Point so far,” Anderson said.
He said he wanted to learn more about tourism since Saipan is a tourism-based economy. “I want to be able to interact with tourists and learn about other cultures in the process. The class under co-op is spot on and I can’t wait to take it again next year.”
PSS co-op program also inviting more companies to join the program. Interested companies can contact Tenorio at PSS.
“I am pleased with the turnout today and excited to see that the companies are here and are investing in these children,” Tenorio said.