MALTA (WIFR) -- Michelle Allen joined Kishwaukee College as the Coordinator of the Career Center in December and has hit the ground running with the upcoming Employment and Training Fair. The Annual Employment and Training Fair will be held this year on April 17 from 5:00 – 8:00p.m. and April 18 from 9:00a.m. – noon in the Kishwaukee College Conference Center.
Allen is excited about the Employment Fair. “Similar to past years, we have included training programs for community residents who are looking for re-training opportunities,” she said. “But with the encouraging outlook in economic growth in the area, we also have about 40 employers with open full and part-time positions this year. And our employers represent a great mix of opportunities: manufacturing, healthcare, communications, and service industry. This will be a great one-stop for job seekers in our area.”
Michelle Allen is familiar with the career management field. Prior to her current position, she was the Employment Readiness Training Coordinator with the Illinois workNet Center in DeKalb through the Adult Education and Transition Programs (AETP) division at Kishwaukee College. She holds a B.S. in International Relations and a Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in Human Services Administration. She has been in career counseling for eight years.
With her past experience, Allen knows how difficult looking for work can be and the wear and tear it can cause a job seeker to feel. “Unemployment can be extremely difficult,” she said. “I want to help people discover hope by giving them the tools they need to find a job that works for them.”
To better reflect the comprehensive resources that job seekers need is one of the reasons that Kishwaukee College changed the name of the office on campus to “Career Center.” She explained, “We still offer the same services that we did when the name was Employment Resources Center – resume writing, cover letter writing, job leads – but we are utilizing Kish CareerLink to connect students with employers and work-based learning activities; we have mock interview rooms to give constructive feedback; and we will be a clearinghouse for the internship opportunities available for our students. Career Center better reflects our mission.”
The Employment and Training Fair is a great way for job seekers to meet employers in one place, but Allen is adding in a few changes. “We really are emphasizing to people that this is an Employment Fair for serious job seekers. Job seekers should not bring guests or children with them and there is no food or drink allowed in the Fair,” she said. “We are adding a Job Seeker Assistance Booth too that will be a place where job seekers can have someone evaluate their clothing as appropriate for the jobs they are hoping to land and practice introducing themselves and interviewing.”
Allen reminds job seekers who are planning to attend the Employment and Training Fair that they should come prepared with copies of their resumes and lists of references. “Some employers have requested interview rooms so job seekers need to be prepared to sit down for an interview right there that day,” she said. For the most current list of employers attending, job seekers are encouraged to check the Kishwaukee College website.
Michelle Allen is excited about the changes in the Career Center and enjoying her new position as its Coordinator. “I like helping people obtain the tools they need to find a job and discovering just what they have inside themselves that is great. When people come back to see me and tell me about the perfect job they found because I helped them, there is honestly no better feeling for me,” she said. “I am looking forward to seeing many community members at the Employment and Training Fair connecting with the wonderful employers in our local area.”
For more information on the Kishwaukee College Employment and Training Fair, visit www.kishwaukeecollege.edu/employment_fair/ or contact Michelle Allen at 815-825-2086, ext. 3590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.