WALLINGFORD — The Spanish Community of Wallingford is hosting a recruitment fair this week with Wallingford Public Schools for the purpose of hiring school employees and offering resources to those looking for employment.
The fair began Wednesday and is scheduled to continue today from 5 to 8 p.m. at SCOW, 284 Washington St.
Fran Thompson, assistant superintendent for personnel at Wallingford Public Schools, took part in Wednesday’s event and said he is “grateful and excited” to have SCOW as a partner for the fair.
“The opportunity to reach out to members in our community who might be interested in working in the school system, in various capacities, is possible because of our shared commitment to Wallingford,” Thompson said.
He noted there are many job opportunities available in the district beyond classroom teacher, including positions as substitute teachers, paraeducators, lunch and recess aides, and substitute clerical and custodial positions.
Durham School Services was also present at the event. They are hiring bus drivers and monitors. Chris Cruz, who was at the fair representing the company, said one of the benefits of the bus driver job opening is that it trains applicants to get their Commercial Driver’s License for free.
Rey Lumpkin of Wallingford attended the event on Wednesday because he was interested in learning more about the school bus driver openings. He said he works third shift as a caregiver. Driving a school bus will give him an additional income, but another reason he wants the job is to help children. He said he has a school-age child and has heard they need bus drivers. Lumpkin said he doesn’t want children to go without transportation, especially in the cold weather.
“I would hate to see kids walk to school,” he said.
Lizandra Mejías-Salinas, assistant executive director at SCOW, said the fair was a “wonderful” opportunity to give residents information about job openings in town. She said the partnership with Wallingford Public Schools gives her and SCOW “pride” as it serves as a way of expanding services to more people in the community.
Steve Knight, vice president of HUBCAP Wallingford and member of SCOW’s Board of Directors, took part in the event. He said they are trying to push the employment pipeline as a way of helping people prepare themselves when searching for a job.
Help writing resumes and interview skills are some of the resources HUBCAP offers.
Located at 128 Center St., HUBCAP also offers training programs in the areas of healthcare, hospitality, service, manufacturing and entrepreneurship.
Some employers and other organizations partner with HUBCAP to offer resources and potential job opportunities to students after completing the program.
The organization is looking for more employers to partner with as they realize the current need for employees, Knight mentioned. He said that healthcare and hospitality are some of the fields with the greatest need for employees.
Knight said the large Latino population and Latinos’ good reputation as employees is one of the reasons HUBCAP wanted to take part in the fair.
“Everybody wants to hire Latinos,” Knight said. “It’s a diversity thing but also I found with my experience at SCOW, employers come to SCOW all the time because the workforce is good, reliable people that work hard. We are here because we want to make sure we make a connection with this large population.”
School supplies and personal protective equipment were given to attendees on Wednesday. Thursday’s fair will have representatives from the American Job Center and Wallingford Adult Education.