Over 1,000 unemployed youths are expected to attend KentuckianaWorks 8th annual Youth Opportunity Showcase Saturday to meet potential employers face to face.
“If you get there before 10, you’ll see people lined up outside the door waiting to get in. It’s a little bit like the Macy’s wedding sale where you would see people rushing the door at ten o’clock,” says Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckyianaWorks, the federally mandated body overseeing job training and placement in the region.
Gritton estimates a similar turnout of 16 to 21 year-olds at the Kentucky International Convention Center as last year. Those that attend will be able to meet some of the nearly 30 businesses that have agreed to show, he says. They include UPS, Norton Healthcare, Thorntons and Lowes.
But he says on average only half will find jobs.
“The marketplace is competitive. There are going to be more than 1,200 kids walking through that showcase,” Gritton says.
Many of the youths have completed a job readiness training session through KentuckianaWorks and those individuals will be identified by a badge showing their effort, he says.
But all young people should come prepared to impress and communicate with potential employers, he says. Last year, several business officials provided Gritton feedback saying many individuals were not prepared.
In other efforts to improve job opportunities for youth, Mayor Greg Fischer has upped the city’s goal to hire 800 individuals for this year’s Summer Works program. The initiative must raise $2 million, which includes private buy-in to help hire twice as many young people as last year.
The Youth Opportunity Showcase will be held between 10 am to 2 pm.