Creating economic development in their own back yards, a group of Payson business leaders are putting together a job fair next weekend, 2003 Career Expo.
"It's a first step in promoting economic development and viability," explained Jan Parsons, district supervisor for the Payson APS office, one of the project's coordinators.
The purpose of the job fair is to provide the public with the opportunity to improve skills associated with seeking, obtaining and keeping a job. It also offers Payson area businesses the opportunity to showcase career employment possibilities.
Parsons, along with representatives from the Payson Regional Chamber of Commerce, Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation, Gila Community College, the Payson Unified School District and concerned residents developed the project.
The 2003 Career Expo is from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Payson High School gymnasium. It features a free continental breakfast from the Randall House with registration; information from Joe Yuhas, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Commerce; two sessions with five different skills workshops; and an opportunity to make initial contact with at least 14 Payson area employers.
Yuhas will talk about the economy of Arizona and how it is making a difference in the job market, Parsons said.
She said even though job opportunities may be limited, the training offered at the job fair is still valuable. The skills are the tools people need to package themselves for the job market.
The workshops will cover preparing impressive written materials; goals, skills and career choices; preparing applications; interviews; and building success through negotiation, and exhibiting values and ethics.
Businesses interested in participating in the fair have until Wednesday, April 30 to sign up. To reserve a space to meet job seekers, contact Parsons at APS, 474-7645. The cost of an eight-foot table is $50, with a 20 percent discount for chamber and PREDC members, while half a table is $25, with the same discount.
"It's not just for the unemployed. It's for people considering upgrading, seeking new and better job skills, retirees interested in doing something part-time and those who want to find out about the state of the economy," Parsons said.
People interested in attending should call Tracy at 468-8039 for more information. Pre-registration is preferred, but it is not necessary, Parsons said.
While actual interviews will not be conducted at the job fair, participants will have the opportunity to make contact with employers and learn about their job opportunities. Employers will be distributing job descriptions or job interest cards, Parsons said.
Developing the project were Parsons; Bob Ware, executive director of the Payson Regional Chamber of Commerce; Scott Flake, director of the PREDC; Barbara Ganz and Patrick Pezelle of GCC; Bill Lawson and Judy Michel of PUSD; and Ilona and John Swenson.
The businesses participating in the job fair, at press time, were: Amon Builders; Chaparral Pines; Cucina Paradiso; The Door Stop; ERA Young Realty; Mazatzal Casino; Messinger Payson Funeral Home; Mogollon Health Alliance; Northstar Surveying; Payson Regional Medical Center; Payson Unified School District; The Rim Club; Tetra Tech, Inc.; and Wal-Mart.