By Evan Casey
Hundreds of teens flocked to the Washington Park Library Wednesday afternoon to participate in the Milwaukee Public Library’s Northside teen job fair. Over 15 employers and organizations such as Summerfest, City Year Milwaukee and the Milwaukee County Zoo had booths at the fair, many companies hiring summer interns or employees.
The Milwaukee Public Library regularly holds two job fairs for teens every spring, one on the Northside and one on the Southside. The library also held resume writing workshops and mock interview sessions leading up to the fair.
Elizabeth Lowrey of the Milwaukee Public Library helped organize the job fair. She said the library reaches out to many of the employers and organizations who were present at the event.
“We try to listen to the community, and what we heard is that teens need jobs and good experiences,” said Lowrey. “We are trying to make sure that teens have opportunities for them to learn and to grow.”
Tatiana Diaz, the Youth Arts Specialist for Artists Working in Education, came to the fair looking for summer interns. Artists Working in Education is a non-profit working to sponsor professional artists to help teach the youth in Milwaukee.
“The inner city is underserved when it comes to careers and education,” said Diaz. “So, us coming to them makes it easier.”
Another organization that was present at the event was the Milwaukee Social Development Commission, a Community Action Agency that serves low-income families in Milwaukee County. The SDC came to the fair to provide information about their programs, such as youth recreation opportunities and job preparation services.
The Goodwill Workforce Connection Center was also present. They attend multiple job fairs in the area every week, and often hire individuals in the community as young as age 16.
“I came here to stay active for the summer and to find a job that will keep me off the streets,” said Marcus, a high schooler from Milwaukee. “No one else will make me money, so I might as well get out there and work on my own.”