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UHV job fair connects Jaguars with employers (video)

By ALLISON MILES
Aug. 29, 2012 at 3:29 a.m.

UHV Freshman Ashley Williams fills out an application at the UHV Part-time Job Fair, where students and employers get a chance to mingle.

Looking for work but unable to make it out to Wednesday's Part-Time Job Fair? UHV Career Services might be able to help. For more information, visit www.uhv.edu/careerServices or email CareerServices@uhv.edu.

Danielle Williams dug deep inside a box emblazoned with the words "career fortune teller."

She emerged with a blue paper message for a student: he would soon take a ride on a community center floor scrubber and find work with the city of Victoria's Parks and Recreation Department.

"So there you go," she said with a smirk. "Sounds fun."

Williams, a city recreation specialist, was among the employers present Wednesday at the University of Houston-Victoria's third annual Part-Time Job Fair.

Hosted by UHV Career Services, the fair is a chance to bring students and Crossroads employers together, said Amy Hatmaker, event organizer and career services specialist. It can be difficult to make those career connections, she said, especially for students from out of town.

"We hope this will help," Hatmaker said, noting this year's fair brought in more than 30 employers, a record number.

Freshman computer science major Jeffrey Olivarez worked with children this summer in San Antonio. He said he hoped to continue that through the year.

On Wednesday he spoke with agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria and YMCA of the Golden Crescent.

"I'm trying to pay my housing fee, so I really do need a job," he said. "I have help from my mom, but I want to do my part."

Autumn McFarlan, a freshman from Conroe, knew the feeling well. Although her father told her she could always ask him for money, rather than taking on a job, she said it just didn't feel right.

"That gets old after a while," the redhead said, smoothing back her ponytail. "You get tired of depending on other people."

Distance was key for Kristen Salazar and Shomari Simon, two freshmen who didn't own cars.

"I'm willing to go about a mile away," Salazar said, noting that would mean either travel by foot or bike. "I couldn't go much farther than that."

Flexible scheduling is all part of hiring college students, said Leodeli Galvan, who helped man H-E-B Plus' booth. She said the store often hires workers who can only work weekends or certain shifts.

"We know they have to get to class," she said.

Craig Staff, human resources specialist with CL Thomas, Inc., said his company operates Speedy Stops, Wendy's restaurants, a Subway and Thomas Petroleum in Victoria, and is always looking to hire.

"We look for someone with drive and motivation," he said. "If someone is willing to juggle both school and work, I think that says a lot about them."

Representatives with the Genesis Center, a Victoria community and worship center, were looking for students with social media know-how. The organization hoped to develop an online presence, said Geoff Schrimsher.

"We need to find somebody that can do what we can't do," he said, noting current students grew up around technology.

"We don't need an IT person, just somebody with basic program knowledge."

As for Williams, not everything at her booth was luck of the draw.

Students gathered information on umpire openings, volunteer positions and other available spots. Still, she said, the fortune telling aspect was a good way to catch students' eyes.

"This was something different," she said. "It's fun."

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