More than 700 youth attend fair

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, March 9, 2017

Opportunity Inc. and the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads hosted the fifth annual Hampton Roads Regional NextGen Opportunity Fair – previously known as the Teen Summer Opportunity Fair — on March 2.

More than 700 youth filled the Chesapeake Conference Center to receive information on employment, volunteer, and post-secondary education opportunities. This year, the fair had a record of more than 75 vendors participating.

“The Youth Career Center launched this fair in 2012 to promote job readiness for teens and young adults, and each year we are thrilled to see an increased interest from both employers and attendees,” said Shawn Avery, president and chief executive officer of Opportunity Inc.

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“We are committed to preparing the emerging workforce for jobs in our region, and this event provides us with a great opportunity to connect employers with the next-generation talent.”

The fair was sponsored by the city of Chesapeake and Chesapeake R U Ready, and welcomed businesses, educational institutions and organizations across the region seeking to hire new talent. The fair was free for teens and young adults ages 16-24, as well as vendors.

Representatives from employers including Farm Fresh, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, Sonic, LTD Hospitality and others too part.

“Through our Youth Career Center, we provide resources and services aimed at ensuring the teens and young adults we serve are well-prepared for the fair,” said Andrea Harrell, senior director of youth initiatives and community affairs for Opportunity Inc.

“We assist with everything from resume development to mock interviews, so it is very rewarding to share in the excitement of their first job offer.”

Several employers took advantage of the interviewing room made available at the fair and hired youths on the spot.