Vail Daily column: Upcoming student career fair benefits all involved | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily column: Upcoming student career fair benefits all involved

We invite you to join Eagle County Schools, Eagle County Rotary Clubs and Vail Valley Partnership for the 2015 Eagle County Career and Job Fair at Battle Mountain High School on April 7.

We share the belief that our students need the support of our business community and believe that businesses of all sizes, industry types and focus areas need to participate in order to make the career fair a successful event. Students will explore their future career options by using an interest inventory website to explore and learn about different work environments and help lead them in researching the best job types for their interests.

I accept that it is possible that I am revealing a certain naivete in even writing this as I know the truth: We need to collaborate and work together to educate and expose our high school students on the variety of jobs available in our rural resort economy. The business community and the school district need to collaborate and work together to ensure students know what skills — hard and soft — are needed to succeed in the workplace. The career fair is a great way to achieve this goal.

Collaboration is a simple concept: work together to create a better outcome than can be produced alone. Harvard Business Review goes as far as to call collaboration “hip,” outlining how collaboration creates once-elusive “buy-in” or “empowerment,” improves problem solving, increases creativity and is key to innovation at companies including Lego, Pixar and Intuit. Done right, opines Harvard Business Review, collaboration slashes costs and improves productivity.

Collaboration is all these things. Collaboration is also hard. But it’s worthwhile.

Collaboration is worthwhile because it results in positive outputs such as the upcoming 2015 Eagle County Career and Job Fair. We are working together to organize this opportunity to advance the common interest of keeping Eagle County a great place to live, work and do business.

Participation in the career fair is a win-win-win. Businesses and organizations get the opportunity to give back to the community, promote their business, identify potential future employees and provide work-study, job shadowing or summer job opportunities. Businesses can also increase your brand awareness to both students and other participating organizations.

Participation is a win for students. They have the opportunity to explore career options that they might be interested in, learn about opportunities in our valley they may not be aware of and potentially participate in a summer job or internship program. For those students wishing to further their education through college, work experience is looked at favorably on an application.

Students will learn the value of networking, as career fairs are all about networking. Of all the benefits of the career fair, this task might be the most vital. Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking and a skill that our student population need to master at a young age to set themselves up for future success.

Participation is a win for our schools. The career fair provides an avenue for students to explore career options in a real world setting and connects our business community to our school district in a meaningful way. It also helps our schools set up our students for future success.

These are the tangible outcomes for our community and are a prime example of collaboration. But there is only so much that the organizations sponsoring the career fair can do; in order to truly succeed, the event requires business participation. Businesses can sign up to participate by contacting Jill Lammers at jlammers@visitvailvalley.com.

I look forward to seeing our partners from the business community, school district and our future leaders at the Eagle County Career Fair on April 7 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Battle Mountain High School. For questions about the fair, contact Mary Ann Stavney at maryann.stavney@eagleschools.net.

Chris Romer is the president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.


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