Co-op job fair to be extended to Tinian and Rota

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Over 70 students attend the Cooperative Education program’s job fair yesterday at the Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Cooperative Education & Training Program of the Public School System, which has been holding job fairs for high school students, aims to finally bring the job fair to Tinian and Rota in the upcoming school year.

Cooperative Education program coordinator Brandon Nicholas said the program has yet to host a job fair on the other islands.

“I can’t recall in the history of the program if they had had job fairs there. …At least under my tenure this would be my first time to bring it down…I am hoping to bring it there next school year,” he said.

Nicholas said there is a co-op program on Rota and Tinian but no job fair. “We’re doing our best to…bring the job fair to Rota and Tinian,” he added.

Nicholas said the job fair allows students to experience the reality of seeking and securing jobs.

“I think the job fair is important because it exposes our children to the world of work. For many of our students, this is their first time at a job fair, giving them that true-life experience of what they would encounter when they complete their studies if they choose to go to college. Even after high school, if they choose to work, we’re getting our students a step forward,” he said.

The fair simulates a real-life job fair for the students where they would need to act and look professional while they meet with possible employers.

“It’s a real-life program. They [students] will meet real-life people, real human resources staff, and they will have to present themselves so they can submit an application and possibly get hired,” he said. “Expect it to be a life-changing experience but something that they will hopefully enjoy as well,” he added.

The way the job fair works is that students trying to secure a job for the semester and are hired would be working at these job sites for the duration of the semester, or from January through May.

“None of these positions are guaranteed and these students will be treated like any other applicant and they will need to apply and go through interviews to secure these jobs,” said Nicholas.

He said the job fair took about two to three weeks to prepare and about 70 to 80 students were present.

Cooperative Education instructor Jeaniffer Cubanbang said that, through the job fair, students are given the opportunity to learn what most people don’t learn until their late 20s.

“They’re learning the things I didn’t know until my late 20s and these are 15-, 16-, 17- year-olds who are learning them now,” she added.

Cubangbang also said the job fair supplies the local economy with more workers.
“It is also helping to build sustainability and build capacity within the CNMI,” she said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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