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Local job fair gets students, employers talking

By Anne Craig, Communications Officer

Hundreds of students interested in learning more about local organizations and job opportunities in Kingston and surrounding area attended the annual Live and Work Kingston event held today in the Queen’s University Athletics and Recreation Centre.

Hosted by Queen’s and Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), the event saw 75 organizations meet and greet students who are preparing to enter the workforce or seeking part-time, summer employment or even volunteer opportunities. Prior to the fair, Career Services offered workshops to help students prepare for the event.

Kingston Councillor Sandy Berg, Queen's University Principal Daniel Woolf and St. Lawrence College president Glenn Vollebregt welcomed students at Live and Work Kingston.

“We met with students prior to the event to help them think about and define their goals,” says Cathy Keates, Director, Career Services. “We helped them work on what questions to ask and how to start conversations. It can be quite nerve-wracking; we helped them feel more comfortable.”

In 2008, Queen’s and KEDCO commissioned a study that identified three key factors that impact graduate retention in Kingston:

  • Students are often unaware of Kingston’s diverse and stable employment opportunities.
  • Students who remained in Kingston over the summer were more likely to want to stay in the area after graduation.
  • Students who felt part of the community were more committed to the area.

To respond to these findings, Queen’s, KEDCO and, more recently, St. Lawrence College created the Live and Work Kingston fair to help students explore a variety of live and work opportunities in Kingston.

“The students are amazed at what is going on in Kingston,” says Ms. Keates. “By offering this we are helping support local economic development. We want the students to have opportunities that allow them to live in Kingston year round.”

Claire McPolin (Artsci’16) was scouring the job fair for a summer employment opportunity. “I really want to stay in Kingston for the summer and this gives me some options,” says the second-year biology student. “Last year I had a basic job, this year I want something more suited to a university student. I’m really impressed; everyone is very prepared and has a lot to offer.”

For more information about Live and Work Kingston visit the website.