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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jen Zacherson, a recruiter for Xerox, talks with youth during the Department of Workforce Services' youth job fair at the Salt Lake Main Library in Salt Lake City, Utah Thursday May 3, 2012. She is looking to fill 600 customer services representative jobs by August 2012. The fair is part of the department's Lifting Youth to Future Employment (LYFE) program and featured several workshops including a keynote talk by former Utah Jazz player Thurl Bailey. LYFE is aimed at low-income and at-risk youth who need help in furthering their education and getting jobs.
Hundreds flock to youth job fair
Youth » Event had tips on life skills and writing résumés.
First Published May 03 2012 05:40 pm • Last Updated May 03 2012 11:50 pm

The lower level of the Salt Lake City Main Library teemed Thursday with hundreds of teens seeking to hone their job-seeking skills in hopes of securing gainful employment.

The Youth Job Fair, hosted by the state Department of Workforce Services as part of its Lifting Youth to Future Employment (LYFE) program, offered a variety of speakers and services during the four-hour session that went from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Joey Montoya, dressed in a suit and tie, traveled from Tooele with his girlfriend Chante Strain to explore work-world options. His maintenance job at a senior center ended about three weeks ago.

Montoya, 21, said he hopes to further his education.

"Before I go to school, I want to know what jobs are out there to see what I want to do as a career … I want to enjoy what I do."

By mid-afternoon, Montoya and Strain had picked up résumé-making tips and felt optimistic about the future.

"If you want to get a job, you can get a job," Montoya said, "You look for it. That’s how it works."

Along with several tables featuring prospective employers such as Home Depot and Boondocks, former Jazz player Thurl Bailey was on hand to address the youth about team-building and motivation.

Later, the fair offered a workshop on "How to Avoid Falling in Love With a Jerk/Jerkette."

LYFE program specialist Julia Story said the session contained valuable information for teens and 20-somethings struggling to strike a balance in life.

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"We understand that sometimes your personal life can get in the way of your professional life," Story said.

West Valley City resident Skyler Westerman, 18, said the job fair helped ease the funk that sets in after several weeks of looking for work.

"It’s upped my spirits a little bit."

To learn more about the LYFE program, contact Angie Madsen at 801-468-0115 or by email at amadsen@utah.gov.


Twitter: @catmck

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