Hamburg Area School District invites parents to its first Professional Field Experience and Job Fair which will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 28.

“This is our initial high school internship and job fair, scheduled during our spring semester Parent-Teacher Conference Day. Our intent is to provide a setting in which parents can meet employers who are their children’s prospective internship mentors and/or work supervisors,” said Clare Kilpatrick Benz, Career Education Specialist, Hamburg Area School District. “As a parent myself, I know my comfort level was increased, years ago, once I met the individuals who became my daughters’ internship mentors. Even more recently, it was reassuring to meet my younger daughter’s supervisor at her new job in New Jersey.”

Parents will have the opportunity to meet with local businesses who offer job shadowing and internships to high school students.

“Rarely are we, as parents, able to make this connection, and this event is designed to provide that opportunity,” said Benz. “Hamburg Area parents can ask employers those questions they’ve always wanted to ask, such as ‘Does my son need to have shorter hair to work in your company?’ ‘Will my daughter have opportunities for advancement in your organization?’ ‘What kind of relevant experience would my child obtain by interning with you?’”

Benz said there is a secondary, but just as valuable, purpose of this event, which is the opportunity for parents who might be looking for a career change themselves to meet local employers.

“They can meet with employers in a less formal setting, and learn if there are job opportunities for “the more mature worker,’” said Benz. “We would love our juniors and seniors to stick around and meet these employers as well.”

“One of the largest obstacles that we learned we have to overcome is providing parents with an understanding of the opportunities (available),” wrote Hamburg Area School District Director of Operations and Project Development Chris Sphon in an invitation to local businesses. “It is our belief that an opportunity to meet (with a representative of businesses) will provide everyone with a chance to recognize on-ramps to a better future that they otherwise were unaware of.”

Hamburg Area School District hopes to make this an annual job fair.

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Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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