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FARMINGTON – While city and county leaders plan the economic future of San Juan County, students and others from throughout the county and the Navajo Nation got a taste of the job opportunities currently available during San Juan College’s Career & Internship Fair. 

“[I’m] just [here] to see what’s out there in terms of job opportunities, and there’s a lot,” said Lindy Shah, who attended the event Feb. 13 in  the Henderson Fine Arts Center Performance Hall.

Shah moved back to Farmington after living in Southern California for some time. Shah is planning to go to San Juan College to study either veterinary tech or dental hygiene, but she attended the career fair to look for a substitute teaching position at Farmington Municipal Schools.

Shah described the process of looking for jobs online as frustrating and deceptive, while talking face to face with employers at the fair was “open and inviting" 

"There’s just more here,” Shah added.

More than 60 employers, and a handful of higher education institutions looking for prospective students, were present at the fair. They included energy companies looking for specialized technicians, like Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and school districts looking for teachers and subs, like Farmington Municipal Schools and the Central Consolidated School District.

Jillian Bishop, the director of the college’s Center for Student Careers & Employment, said she expected around 300 to 400 people to attend the fair — half of them college and local high school students, and the other half adult community members looking for jobs.

“Our job fair is kind of the only job fair for all different types of employers in the community,” Bishop said.  

Local nonprofits were also present, like Capacity Builders Inc., who were looking for people with specialized skills in empathy and advocacy for others in need.

Gloria Dee, the program director of Capacity Builders Inc.’s Developing Future Victims Specialist Program, said she was looking for people with the mindset of “how can I be that helping hand for someone that needs it?”

Dee was looking for candidates for a position for people looking to train and become certified advocates, which entails supporting and connecting victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault with proper resources to help them.

Dee herself started her career off as a student at San Juan College.

“I know what it’s like,” Dee said, “Whatever I learned, I want to help teach others.”

Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-333-5283 or via email at sribakoff@daily-times.com.

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