Last Update: 7/11/2013 8:16 AM
On June 21st NorCalPCA hosted its first ever Career Fair at the San Francisco Federal Building at 90 7th Street. A big thank you goes to the Department of Labor for sponsoring us so that we could use several of the conference rooms in the Federal Building, to Karla Calinawan, Katherine Macdougall and David Song for work planning and managing the event.
Organizations representing Federal agencies, nonprofits, graduate schools and private companies from around the San Francisco Bay area and beyond attended this half day event. Recent and not so recent returned Peace Corps Volunteers had their resumes reviewed by established RPCVs and talked with recruiters. Many of the recruiters were themselves RPCVs recently hired last year when the National Peace Corps office held a similar event. LinkedIn even sent an RPCV to host a session on using LinkedIn to get a job.
Every couple of years the National Peace Corps Office holds a career fair in the Bay Area but we recognized that the need is continuing with nearly 4,000 volunteers returning home each year. So we decided to take the initiative and not wait another couple years for Peace Corps Washington to come out here.
Although the Northern California Peace Corps Association hosted this event the career fair has region and even national appeal because the Bay Area is a particularly desirable destination for many recnet RPCVs who are rootless and willing to move to were the work is. We have world class universities, technology companies, nonprofits and Federal government jobs covering the entire western region of the United States – not to mention our awesome location where you can windsurf on the bay, hike in the Redwoods or ski at Lake Tahoe.
Our greatest difficulty was connecting to recently returned RPCVs, not in our database. We contacted the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), the Peace Corps Office in DC and RPCV groups from Seattle to San Diego. It was a challenge convincing NPCA and the Peace Corps office in DC that we were serious about making this event a success but we persisted and as the number of participating organizations grew they were soon providing us with PR support getting the word out.
This is the first year that we have tried this. And although there were a few rough patches, we got lots of great feedback from the attendees. We learned a lot and can’t wait to put those lessons to work next year.