Fair offers summer job, learning opportunities for teens
More than 30 exhibitors will offer information about summer learning and employment opportunities for local kids Monday at the Summer Youth Education/Employment Fair.
The free fair will take place between 4 and 7 p.m. in the Bookcliff Middle School cafeteria. Exhibitors will provide information about summer camps at Western Colorado Community College and The Art Center, Colorado Mesa University sports camps, and activities and job opportunities through Mesa County Workforce Center, Mesa County Partners, Colorado National Monument, John McConnell Math and Science Center of Western Colorado, Collbran Job Corps, Mesa County Public Libraries, Grand Junction Parks and Recreation, 4-H, and Kidz Plex, among other organizations and businesses.
Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Diane Schwenke, who also serves on the Grand Junction Forum committee, said the idea for the summer fair came from a forum meeting six weeks ago. At the meeting, she said, District 51 Superintendent Steve Schultz mentioned the district will not be able to offer as many summer school, or extended learning, opportunities at as many schools this year compared with years when the district had more money in its budget.
“Somebody said, ‘If we’re not going to have a lot offered through the district this summer, there is still a lot going on in the community that not everyone is aware of, so we should give people one place to go to learn about all those opportunities,’” Schwenke said.
The school district and a group of people from local organizations helped assemble the fair. Learning activities and job opportunities for the older kids will be featured at the same event, Schwenke said, because she said job experience is another form of learning.
Schwenke said Grand Junction Forum members decided to get involved in the fair because of the group’s interest in education and the business community. The group created The 500 Plan, which aimed to bring 500 community volunteers into schools to teach students how to read at grade level in hopes of attracting business owners to the area to put their children in and pluck workers out of a quality education system.
“Our focus has been on education, and education is key in terms of developing a good economy,” Schwenke said.