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Charlottesville Hosts First Community Career Conference - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Hosts First Community Career Conference

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Jobs, especially ones that pay well, can be hard to come by right now.  The city of Charlottesville hosted its first Community Career Conference Wednesday at John Paul Jones Arena to help people get their foot in the door.

The event was more than just a way to apply for jobs.  It was also a way for those already employed to learn how to work their way up the career ladder. 

There were panel discussions on major employment industries in the Charlottesville area.  Health care, government and technology defense are a few of the most growing career fields.  Educators at the Community Career Conference taught job seekers ways to jump into these growing fields.

"They know that they don't have now what they need to become an RN but what are the... starting steps that they can actually get their foot into UVA or to Martha Jefferson or some place like that and work their way up," Hollie Lee with the Charlottesville Office of Economic Development said.

The technology and defense panel helped Joana Herring prepare for a career in national intelligence.

"People were able to ask a lot of questions and get information about what to put on their resume and how to tailor it specifically to what jobs they were going to be applying to, what employers were looking for," she said.

Job coach Venise Starks-Rush says she came to scope out new trends in the marketplace for her clients.

She said, "I'm out today observing and working with consumers who are looking for work or getting back into the work force and just seeing what the job market has to offer that's conducive to the individuals I serve."

The panel discussions gave people the chance to learn and ask questions about technology and defense, hospitality and tourism, and health care and government jobs.  The conference aimed to help people find jobs that will still be in high demand after they complete training.

Scott Dudley with the University of Virginia Medical Center said, "Pharmacy is always in high demand, laboratories for us continues to be in high demand, certified medical assistants."

Over 300 job hunters came to the conference Wednesday.  It was the first time the city used the panel discussions as a way to spread the word about industries looking for more employees.

Reported by Molly Balkenbush

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