CSUN to host job fair on Feb. 17

Sigourney B. Nuñez

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Private, governmental and large companies alike will gather at the Spring Tech Fest at Northridge Center on Feb. 17 to provide information, workshops and possible job opportunities to students in the engineering, technical and computer science departments.

“This is a career specialized event,” said Patricia Gaynor, assistant director of the Career Center. “The event is so specific to their needs; the employers want the event to attract the interest to the particular fields.”

The Tech Fest started five years ago and has taken place once every semester since then. The size of the event, however, has changed.

When the Tech Fest was first held, the average number of employer participants was about 50, Gaynor said. Now, with unemployment and lay-offs leveling off, the event is reflective of the available job market. This has not stopped the department from putting on this type of program for students.

“When the recession started we saw a significant decline in companies,” she said. “We’re excited to say we hit the 20 mark. For this event, we’re seeing an increase in employer participation.”

Companies like the Air Force Flight Test Center, Southern California Edison and WellPoint, Inc. have confirmed participation in the event. Gaynor said students should check the Career Center’s website to find out which companies they can expect at the fest.

“We encourage students to check the Career Center because the list is updated until the day of the event,” Gaynor said.

The specialized departments that helped plan the Tech Fest are hoping its students will take advantage of it.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to meet local industries and employers,” said Tesha Hagler, student outreach coordinator for the college of engineering and computer science.  “They’ll be able to see what jobs are available and network with the employers.”

Julio Andrino, 24, a civil engineering major has attended the Tech Fest twice in the past and is planning on doing so again this semester because despite previous experiences he sees the benefits.

“I’ve been to it twice, the second time it was less productive, but I’m planning to go again because you get a feel of whether you have good or bad qualities,” Andrino said. “You know what you need to change to be qualified.”

Event participation ranges from 300 to 500 every session, according to Gaynor. The Career Center is focused on getting the word out.Between flyers, e-mail (to those registered on the Career Center’s server) and a Facebook page, Gaynor is hoping people are aware of its program.

“Once they register (with the Career Center) they’ll know about everything, “ she said. “It never hurts to go and take advantage, worse that can happen is you’ll walk way good information.”

Walk-ins are welcome at the Tech Fest.

“(Students) don’t need to sign up, they just need to go.”

The event will take place at the Northridge Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., call 818- 677- 1200 for more information.