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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Thousand Oaks

Adult Education Job Fair Draws 500

May 18, 2000|CHRIS G. DENINA

The Conejo Valley Adult Education program launched its first job fair Wednesday, setting its students up with employers looking to fill mostly entry-level positions. The program was also open to any other job hunters.

About 500 job seekers attended the morning event, visiting 19 company recruiters at outdoor booths across the campus. The companies at the fair included J.C. Penney, GTE and Hyatt Hotels.

Loredana Carson, the program's director of corporate training, and Christina Alwood, who works mostly with the vocational education program, said they started the job fair to give their students the boost they need in the job market.

Many students, they said, need a little help getting a job. That's why they come to the adult education program, to take classes in computer skills and to brush up on English language skills. Some students took classes to become Microsoft-certified systems engineers.

At the booth for the Conejo Valley Unified School District, which runs the adult education program, more than 100 applications were given out for instructional aides, Carson said. Applicants who are bilingual or are studying English as a second language have an advantage over others.

At the table for Newbury Park-based WellPoint Health Networks, recruiter Chris Russell saw a steady flow of applicants.

"A lot of people are in with Microsoft certification," Russell said. "They're getting a good start."

He said he'll probably hire a few dozen people, mostly for jobs in customer service, fielding calls about benefits from members.

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