MALDEN, W.Va. — The reverse job fair was a foreign event to many participating in it on Tuesday in Malden but that sure did not shy anyone away.

Dozens of employers and career technical students took part in the fair at the Carver Career Center hosted by the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE).

“It’s an extremely cool idea,” Tyler White, a student at Herbert Hoover High School told MetroNews. “I’ve been to similar things but they work reverse. I’ve been to a college fair and a job fair but I go to the employer or school instead of them coming to me.”

White said he was busy at his booth telling employers stopping by about the work that has been done at the center and his interests in carpentry.

Carpentry was just one of the many industry specific booths up at the fair that included agriculture, cosmetology, architecture & construction, hospitality & tourism, and manufacturing.┬áThese are all trades that fall under the WVDE’s Simulated Workplace program.

Kaleb Vaughan, a student at Summers County HS and participant in the fair, said he and his group of peers are willing to try out anything for a career.

“We have been showing off our skills and resumes and what we know how to do,” he said. “We are trying to get our foot in the door for a career.”

“We are young. We are willing to do anything. Whatever it takes to get us a good job to pay the bills, that is what we are going after.”

Neil Ball, a service manager at Leslie Equipment said his company, which has several locations in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, was looking for candidates on Tuesday to potentially fill many openings.

“We just came down because we saw an opportunity to prospect some candidates for openings that we had in our workforce,” he said. “We came down to see what they had to offer for us.

“We probably met 30 plus candidates. It was good. Each one had their own stories and different assets and qualities about themselves.”

Future CTE reverse job fairs will be Friday in Morgantown at the Monongalia County Career Technical Education Center, May 7 at the Randolph Technical Center in Elkins and May 8 at the James Rumsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg.

WVDE said business and industry representatives, human resource directors and other related professionals looking for qualified workers are encouraged to attend.

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