By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Last Thursday, Kayla Dale attended the Greater Atlanta Collaborative Hiring Event at Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School with one goal in mind: Find a job.
Kayla’s determination and preparation paid off in ways she never expected. Walking into a gymnasium filled with potential employers, Kayla spotted an opportunity and took advantage of it. To her surprise, she was hired on the spot as a supervisor with Juma, a social enterprise operation specializing in job training and placement for youth. Kayla starts her new job Nov. 14.
“I’m so excited,” squealed 18-year-old Kayla, who is a senior at Crim Open Campus. “I just want to cry.”
Kayla was among dozens of nearly 200 students and community members from across metro Atlanta who found success at the job fair. Sponsored in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper of Fulton County, the Greater Atlanta Collaborative event was designed to bridge the gap between unemployment and underemployment by providing access to numerous service-related opportunities. The job fair – a first for Crim – featured employers representing retail, food service, hospitality and other industries. Dollar Tree, Goodwill, Domino’s Pizza, Ross Stores, DHL, Year Up, and Juma were among the 40 employers represented.
In addition to Crim, students from Therrell, McClarin, and Banneker high schools, and Forrest Hills and West End academies attended the job fair.
Crim principal Dawn Parker said the job fair was a huge success.
“This event is a critical lifeline that uplifts our entire community, helps build relationships, and lets people know that we are here for them,” Parker said. “Whether it’s resumes, job training, or etiquette, our students are ready. I’m also grateful that the vendors value education. They partner with us and understand that education comes first. I’m happy they can offer jobs with growth, promotion and future opportunity to our students.”
Seventeen-year-old Crim student Jameka Bowen said the event was a “blessing.”
“Some people struggle to get a job,” said Jameka, who is interested in pursuing a career as a military police officer with the U.S. Navy following graduation. “All you had to do was show up and come to the event. I’m happy for this opportunity.”