Over 75 employers, and hundreds of prospective employees, gathered at the Davis Technical College on Oct. 4 for the Standard Examiner Career Fair.
Attendees ranged from aerospace companies like SpaceX and Northrop Grumman, to beverage manufacturers, healthcare services and transportation companies.
Each table was littered with pens, water bottles, flashlights, lanyards, chapstick and fidget spinners in an attempt to attract attendees.
Employer Engagement Manager for DTC Alexander Johnson, who organized the event, said the career fair happens once a year and is usually hosted in October. He noted they typically have high attendance from employers, as they have more openings than they can fill.
“We deal a lot with manufacturing and production, those types of industries that are trades,” said Johnson. “They’re in such demand that they’re constantly knocking on our door trying to find potential applicants.”
The DTC, Johnson said, has a niche in industry certifications. A plumbing apprenticeship, which is a four-year program, has the potential to earn as much money as someone that has a master or bachelor’s degree.
Johnson said they encourage following certifications with traditional four-year degrees, but the demand is such that it’s often helpful for students to use professional certifications to first find a lucrative trade. Students can then use that money to support further education and subsequently supplement their wages.
Additionally, Johnson said it’s important to remember employers aren’t solely looking for technical training.
“You may have all the skillsets, but if you don’t have the soft skills – you’re reliable, you show up to work on time and have a good work ethic – that’s in the most demand. Combine that with a technical education and a four-year university degree, and that’s a recipe for success. That’s what we promote.”
Mandy Christiansen, a recruiter for Northrop Grumman, said they participate in the DTC career fair every year and have a whole team devoted to college and tech school recruitment.
She said they have open positions in everything ranging from engineering and composite technicians to maintenance and material handlers.
Christiansen espoused the value of a good work ethic and punctuality as well.
“We look for somebody that’s willing to come and work hard, be open minded, (has) good attendance (and) someone that’s willing to learn new things,” Christiansen said. “A lot of what we do is highly technical, so we want somebody that will progress, and we have positions throughout the whole company for them to grow their career.”
U.S. Army recruiter, Manuel Briones, said it’s important to make sure people take care of themselves physically, mentally and morally. These traits are especially important for someone looking to join the military.
“Physically, we want people to be healthy. When we say mentally, they take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test and that gauges what jobs they’re going to be qualified for. Morally, we do a background check to make sure they aren’t a felon,” said Briones.
Even local law enforcement is looking for new talent to help support the community. Human resources generalist for the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, Jennifer Hansen, said they plan on participating in five or six career fairs per year.
“We’re looking for good people that are passionate about law enforcement. It’s hard to hire for law enforcement in general … You want somebody that’s driven, a hard worker, someone that’s going to show up on time ready to work and manages their time well,” Hansen said.
Though many of their positions are specific to the sheriff’s department, openings consist of everything from correctional officers and deputy sheriff paramedic positions to case managers.
For any employers looking to fill open positions, Johnson says it’s as simple as reaching out.
“We urge that employers come on campus, work with career services, and reach out to our students to put a face to a job posting,” Johnson said.