Thousands of young adults–many unemployed–met with local and national employers Friday in Portland’s Lloyd District.
At least 2,000 attendees explored some 50 different booths at the Oregon Convention Center.
Booths at the event included OMSI, Timberline, Portland Police Bureau and the U.S. Army, among others.
Many organizations were hoping to fill immediate openings. At least 1,500 job offers were expected to be made throughout the day, Opportunity Youth Job Fair officials said.
Event organizers said the event was meant to provide entry-level jobs for underserved youth and young adults ages 16 through 24.
“Underserved kids and kids in our community need an opportunity to make an opportunity,” Loretta Smith, Multnomah County Commissioner, said.
Smith said most jobs Friday were minimum wage and meant to be a starting point for students and recent graduates.
Maria Felix, 19, said she came to the event to search for internships. Someday, she hopes to be a pediatric nurse.
In addition to browsing booths Friday, job-seekers could attend mock interviews and chat with others about potential careers.
“It’s really helpful,” Felix said.
The job fair’s organizers estimate that nearly 11 percent of the region’s young people between ages 16 and 24 and currently out of work. They hope that the event Friday, and future events like it, will help reduce that number.
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