A steady stream of hopeful, potential employees made their way through the Clover Park School District’s Job Fair at Rainier Elementary School on Lewis Main Saturday, checking out the many open positions, applying for some and learning about others.
This was the first time the district has hosted a Job Fair on the installation. Prior events took place at the district office in Lakewood.
Although fewer than two dozen people attended the two-hour event, testing the waters by bringing the event to Joint Base Lewis-McChord yielded positive results, according to Lori Liedes, recruitment coordinator for CPSD.
“We had several people complete applications while at the Job Fair and it was a very positive and good event,” Liedes said.
She expects to host a similar activity on the installation in the fall, if not sooner.
Tables were set up in the Rainier Elementary gymnasium with representatives from several departments with open positions, such as substitute teachers, bus drivers, maintenance and special education. A section with computers also was available for job seekers to apply online.
Trang Tran, a childcare worker at Hillside Youth Center on Lewis Main, said she’s hoping to get a job working with special needs children.
She and her husband, Spc. Binh Huynh, 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, attended the event together. Huynh is transitioning out of the military in a few months.
The couple, who are originally from Vietnam but met while college students in San Francisco, have been married one year and plan to stay in the Pacific Northwest.
Tran has a bachelor of science degree from San Francisco State University.
Huynh and Tran both speak English and Vietnamese. Huynh said he’s hoping to get a job as an interpreter or other bilingual position.
He’s currently working on earning a Microsoft certificate through Saint Martin’s University, but he’s open to several career options.
“If I see something I like, I may apply,” he said, as he and his wife stopped at various tables at the event.
Army spouse Jennifer Crouch spent some time filling out job applications. She’s hoping to procure a food service worker job.
Crouch grew up in Germany as the daughter of a now-retired Army pilot, but she loves raising her family in the Northwest, she said.
She and her husband, Spc. Patrick Crouch, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, have four children in Clover Park Schools. Shiloh, 14, and Caleb, 11, are both students at Woodbrook Middle School, in Lakewood. Micah, 7, and Mia, 5, are both at Evergreen Elementary School on Lewis Main.
Jennifer Crouch said she’d like a job at Evergreen Elementary, but she’s willing to take a job at another school.
“My son sees other parents working at his school and always tells me I should work (at Evergreen),” Crouch said. “I love to cook and I have a lot of energy, so I know I’d be a good food service worker.”
Gina Peebles, spouse of Staff Sgt. Micheal Peebles, 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, also is looking for a district job. She is originally from Eugene, Ore., and has two children: Schehl, 13, a student at Mann Middle School in Lakewood; and Levi, 10, a student at Meriwether Elementary School on Lewis Main.
Peebles said her parents are retired teachers, and she’d like to carry on the family tradition of educating young people.
She recently earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the online Grand Canyon University and is about to begin working on a master’s degree.
“I’m looking for a part time substitute teaching position, because I’d like to get some classroom experience under my belt,” she said, adding she hopes to become a middle school or high school math and science teacher.
“Peebles, oh I’ve talked with you before,” said Jody Pope, lead worker with student nutrition at CPSD. “It’s good to put a face with a name.”
She offered Peebles some advice:
“Make sure and put down some volunteer references, if it’s been a long time since you’ve had a work supervisor,” she said. “You want your resume to look as good as it can.”