This year’s Spring University-wide Employment & Networking Fair broke records for the most employers and attendees at an employment fair in SVSU history.
The fair brought 174 employers and nearly 1,000 attendees to Curtiss Hall’s second floor Banquet and Seminar Rooms on Friday, April 6.
The spring fair is historically the largest of SVSU’s eight on-campus employment and networking fairs. This year’s spring fair brought in 16 more employers than the last one.
“For the last four or five years, we’ve always been breaking our old record of the most companies in attendance for the spring fair,” said Bill Stec, one of the assistant directors of Career Services.
This year, Career Services gained two new employer sponsors for the fair: Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. and Hemlock Semiconductor. Employers from a variety of industries including health, engineering, business and nonprofits attended to find candidates to fill their part-time, full-time, seasonal, internship and co-op positions.
The employment fairs are open to students and the public. Stec said on average, a minimum of 100 community members attend.
Career Services works to increase employer attendance each year. Representatives from the office go to Chamber of Commerce events and off-campus employment fairs, continually networking with companies in the area.
“Anytime we’re out in a community event, we are pretty much marketing SVSU,” Stec said. “The goal is to get their job postings into our database and have them come to the employment fairs.”
Stec said another reason for the increase in employers is increasing job opportunities in various industries.
“The job market is there,” Stec said. “We’re experiencing baby boomers retiring, so more job seats are becoming available. Eventually, we’re going to have more jobs available than there are humans on this planet.”
Stec said surveys showed that 81 percent of employers that attend SVSU’s fairs indicate they interview at least one student that comes to their booth, and 59 percent of employers hire at least one student that comes to their booth.
“People tell us we have the best employment fairs in the state,” Stec said. “We’re well-structured, we’re organized, and our team is out there. We’re there helping the students. We’re there if the employers need us. We’re visible.”
Stec said that Career Services acts as a matchmaker between employers and students looking for jobs. In addition to networking with employers, the office helps students find which companies to research and talk to based on their experience and skillsets.
“The employers love the relationship we have with them because we know what they want and vice versa,” Stec said. “We open up those gates for them.”
Stec said students benefit from attending the fairs even if they are not looking for a job now.
“If people aren’t ready to look for a job or they don’t need a job right now, they still need to explore options,” Stec said. “They need to be proactive. (The recruiters) will remember you, and then you’re going to build a relationship with them. Come down the road when it’s time to apply, you have a foot in the door already.”
Career Services Director Mike Major said that he has seen several students benefit from attending the fair and speaking with employers they may not have planned on.
“You never know what opportunity is going to be there until you show up,” Major said. “There are so many students who we’ve seen their lives changed because they came and talked to an organization that they weren’t planning to.”
Kaitlyn Dufour, a criminal justice junior, said she came to network with employers. Dufour spoke with employers including Saginaw Intermediate School District and the FBI.
“I’m glad I came,” Dufour said. “It’s nice to interact with professional businesses and get a feeling of how things are run.”
The university’s next employment fair, the Education Employment Fair, is on Tuesday, June 19, in the Curtiss Hall Banquet Rooms.