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Neat Networking

Angela O'Connor interviews for a job at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

Nearly 20 jobseekers and potential employers connected at a job fair put on by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) under its STARSS (Support Towards Autonomy Retraining and Self-Sufficiency ) programme.

The job fair took place at the Reliable Industries Boardroom on Wednesday, 1 December.

STARSS Coordinator Cassandra Parchment noted that the fair was held to help participants land actual employment opportunities.

"We felt it was a good way to help our clients to get connected with potential employers and possibly land jobs following their training under the STARSS programme," Miss Parchment said.

STARSS is a career development programme run by the DCFS for its clients. The programme assists unemployed persons to prepare for their job search through a self-esteem building programme and training in resume writing; communication skills; customer service; dressing for success; interviewing skills; conflict management; work ethics; budgeting and stress management.

Addressing the participants at the fair, DCFS Director Deanna Look Loy congratulated the group for taking the initiative to improve their job prospects and making the effort to advance in life.

She encouraged them to use the skills they learned through the STARSS programme to do well on the job.

"It is sometimes easier to land a job than keep it; use the skills you have been taught to resolve any conflict that may arise in the workplace, and always ensure that you observe the dress code of any organization where you work," Mrs. Look Loy stated.

Mrs. Look Loy also asked the employers to be patient with the participants as they were just getting back into the workforce and were still engaged in a learning process.

Six companies and the Department of Employment Relations participated in the fair. The companies included Ritz Carlton; Cayman Distributors Limited; CL Flowers and Sons; Superior Auto; AL Thompson Limited, and Fosters Food Fair IGA.

Cayman Distributors Human Resource Manager Cindy Downing said the company participated in the fair in an effort to play its part in supporting the community during this tough economic time, when many are out of work.

"We have a few positions available that we are now advertising; we know it would probably be a good place to find persons who are interested and motivated to work," Ms Downing said.

STARSS client Tatiana Ow said she was very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the programme and to have one-on-one sessions with employers. She also felt that the STARRS programme and the job fair had been very helpful in preparing participants to re-enter the work world.

"I found of great benefit, simple tips like avoiding the use of excessive jewelry, not wearing too much perfume and selecting the right outfit for an interview; I feel that it can be of benefit to others as well, as not everyone knows how to dress for success," she noted.

Miss Ow added that the fair was very useful in connecting her with potential employers and that she is now more hopeful of gaining employment in the near future.

For further information contact: Prudence Barnes