Community career fair to now encompass all of Carter County schools

Cloudland Elementary School counselor Brandon Young came to the county school board workshop Tuesday evening to announce his intention to turn his community Career Fair into a county-wide event.

This career fair will involve as many county schools as possible.

“I started it last year at Cloudland because the chronically absent rate of students was 24 percent,” Young said. “I wanted to get that down.”

In his research to figure out how to do that, he said he realized many of these chronically absent students were living in poverty and therefore did not have the resources to regularly make it to school.

“What have we ever done to help the parents with the poverty they are facing?” he said.

Last year’s event was so successful, he said, he wanted to extend its benefits to the rest of the county, not just the Cloudland community.

This career fair included tables for free vaccinations, non-profits like Red Legacy Recovery and Recovery Soldiers and dozens of local businesses.

He said the fair is meant to help parents find out where they can first put their feet on the ground.

“A lot of parents do not know where to start,” Young said.

The fair provides parents with all the resources they would need as part of the interview process, even drug-testing on-site.

“We had three families walk away with jobs that night,” Young said. “There are a lot of resources that go untapped because no one knows about them.”

This networking also reached the organizations themselves. Some of the resources did not know the other even existed.

“That is great publicity for our school system,” Young said. “We are going to reach out and people in need.”

This county-wide career fair is already scheduled to take place Thursday, March 26, 2020 at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“We had Tennessee Connect there, where parents could go back to school through lottery funds,” Young said. “I think it can be more successful with the whole county this year.”

He said the main mission behind the fair is to help parents in trouble times get their feet on the ground, because this also helps get students back on their feet, as well.

“If we help our parents, we, in turn, help our students,” he said.

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