The Public School System staged another job fair as part of its cooperative training program, giving its students a stab at landing interviews with private companies that will hopefully lead to a job offer.
The job fair, held Sept. 7 at the Royal Taga Hall of the Saipan World Resort, featured both private businesses and government agencies that had job openings for junior and senior high school students.
“With cooperative education, there is so much opportunities for growth,” said co-op program coordinator Brandon S. Nicholas. “We hope to build a bridge to connect our students to the future and help them establish a firm foundation in which they can build upon.”
By the time the students finish cooperative education program, “we see the students are confident, happy and equipped with skills that will put them one step ahead,” Nicholas added.
Cooperative education is an elective class at all high schools.
According to Nicholas, it’s a two-part class. The first part occurs in the classroom where students are engaged in rigorous curriculum that includes résumé writing, personal finance, financial literacy, interview skills, and workplace skills and behavior.
The second part entails off- campus exposure for the students, when they are exposed to interviews at the job fair, work in actual job sites, and on-the-job training that includes real-life application of what they learned in the classroom.
McDonald’s Saipan was present at the job fair to recruit students to work at an international corporation.
“We always always support [the PSS co-op program]. We’ve seen the results and a number of students that have applied with us through the program have continued on, even beyond the program and graduation,” said Mabel Ayuyu, who is executive assistant to the McDonald’s president. “McDonald’s want to be the first job that someone has. Whether they have a career with McDonald’s or [not], we are able to lock down that foundation of what it’s like to be disciplined and be in a work environment and having standards that are expected of all employers.”
One of the public agencies that joined the job fair was the Department of Public Lands. DPL special assistant Michelle Cabrera Atalig said that many of the students did not know about DPL “so we were happy to give them some insight into what we do. There is so much activity happening in public lands.”
“I think that giving students the opportunities and tools while young will better help shape them for the workforce. It is like we are grooming them and how we can help harness their skills and talents,” Atalig said.
Teesha Aguon, a senior high school student from the Da’Ok Academy High School, was excited and early at the job fair.
“I applied at the Division of Youth Services. I want to be a therapist in the future and I feel the training at DYS deals with the basics like children and a lot of problems that I really like to handle. I’m really good at talking to people and try to help them to get back on their feet,” she said.
Nicholas was very happy with the turnout and the number of companies and public agencies that continue to support the program.
“We are very fortunate that a lot…continue to support our programs. Without them, our program would cease to exist,” he said.