MERIDEN — Local students got an early look at available job opportunities in the state thanks to a job fair held at Maloney High School Thursday night.
The event, hosted by Marissa Cardona, college and careers at risk coordinator for Meriden Public Schools, allowed local students to explore some of the job options and opportunities available to them upon graduation.
Organizations and companies such as The Hartford, Feel Fresh Hair Studio, Nucor, Women and Families Center, and Meriden Public Schools Information Technology Department participated in the job fair.
“Being born and raised in Meriden, I knew most of the organizations and companies I contacted,” Cardona said.
At 6:30 p.m., the presenters shared their experiences and the mission of their company. There was a session in English and Spanish.
Plus there was a DJ with music and Mr. Taco hosted the event with tacos, quesadillas and burritos.
Irma Rivera, Network Engineering Manager at The Hartford, was the first to share The Hartford’s mission on the podium. Rivera also represents Women in Technology at Hartford. She sent a message to young Latinas that women in STEM matter.
“If you’re a woman in tech, you should go for it,” Rivera said. “We aim for diversity.
Rivera also said that while The Hartford may be an insurance company, the jobs it offers include work in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. Also, internships are offered to freshmen at the university for a head start. For more information, visit https://www.thehartford.com/careers/interns-jobs-recent-college-grads.
David Ortiz, owner of Feel Fresh Hair Studio, 65 West Main St., said he wanted to represent the business he’s run for 14 years. He said it’s more than being a barber, it’s the fact that you can help people in your community to have confidence in themselves.
“You cut people’s hair and when they’re sitting in your chair, you talk to them and get to know them,” Ortíz said. “You speak with police officers, teachers and many people in the community.”
Ortíz has been a barber for 22 years and the profession has allowed him to open up more opportunities like having his own clothing line with the logo of Feel Fresh Hair Studio.
He recently collaborated with the Major League Barber Academy which has two locations. One is in East Haven and the other is in West Haven. Currently, they are looking for students to join their class of 2022 in September. Ortíz said there are plans to open a site in Wallingford soon.
For more information on tuition and costs, visit www.MLBCUTS.com or call 203-691-1120.
Marcia Roman, a bilingual and bicultural attorney at the Women and Families Center, says they have a full-time position available for a bilingual attorney. The Women’s and Families Center helps with cases of domestic violence and advocates for the safety of its clients. Additionally, they help with resources such as nutritional assistance through the Women, Infants and Children program.
Cardona said it’s important to teach students about the career opportunities that exist locally.
“I want my students to know about all these close businesses that are available to them,” she said.