AMERICAN CANYON — More than 700 job seekers — all of them teenagers — mixed with 30 potential employees Wednesday at American Canyon High School’s first Career Day.
Banks, real estate offices, schools, manufacturers and the military were all represented. “We have a full house right now,” said Mayra Becerra, a counselor at the school.
The timing seemed right. “Some businesses are hiring for the summer,” she said. “The variety is the best.”
Student Stephen Pasqual said he went to “quite a few” booths. “They helped me think about my future,” he said.
“For me, I like the Navy,” he said. “I really want to go to the military. It’s still Navy, but l look at the Marines sometimes. They look very respected.”
Al Carajal was thinking about a career in the music industry before Career Day. “But after seeing all this, I think there’s so much more,” he said. “I have some thinking to do.”
Dalany Webb said the career fair gave her some job prospects. “I went to the real-estate one and the Noah’s Ark school,” she said. “That one is hiring summer workers.”
Job search is one area the school doesn’t really get into, according to Becerra. “We need to be helping to be more proactive,” she said. “Not all students go to college.”
A raffle added interest. “The businesses were generous to provide prizes for a raffle,” Becerra said. “We will have the raffle every ten minutes.”
Becerra said they plan to expand on this year’s success, next year.
“We’re planning to make it stronger,” she said. “One thing I want to do next year is to prepare students with questions they could be ready with.”
Elisa Velasquez was there representing Mezzetta Foods. “We are actually offering a summer internship in whatever career they are interested in,” she said. “We’re very willing to work with the applicant to fit them with something they are interested in.”
Velasquez said she has had a good response. “We have a large crowd,” she said. “They are taking applications and turning them in.”
For Mezzetta, finding employees can be a challenge, Velasquez said. “Due to the wineries being around, it’s a little bit hard,” she explained. “The wineries are a little seasonal. We provide longer term (employment) than the wineries.”
“A lot of people don’t know we’re here, but we’re getting the word out that we are a local brand in the Napa Valley,” Velasquez said.
The most popular booths, by far, were those of the military. The Army, Navy and Marines were there.
Marine Sgt. Tony Spurlin said the questions he heard most from the students were, “What do I have to do to join? What are the qualifications? And, what’s the big difference between us and other branches?”
Spurlin feels that the reason everyone knows a relative who was a Marine is because they don’t keep it a secret. “The Marine Corps is such a proudful group,” he said. “Once you’re a Marine, you’re always a Marine. It’s an elite title to hold.”
“But a lot of people aren’t qualified to be Marines,” he said.
Becerra said the school collaborated with the City of American Canyon Parks and Recreation Department to put on Career Day.
The students attended the event during their Humanities class.