As the director of CEDR and Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center, we work with hundreds of businesses in Clatsop County. Finding and retaining good employees is a constant issue all businesses face, from small businesses all the way up to our largest employers in the county and region. In April of last year, CEDR partnered with the local WorkSource Northwest Oregon office and many community volunteers to organize a Clatsop County High School Career and Job Fair. The event was very successful, with 63 companies participating, and over 500 students in attendance.

This year, the event will be held on Tuesday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Clatsop County fairgrounds. Planning meetings have started earlier, and representatives of Astoria, Jewell, Knappa, Seaside and Warrenton High Schools and many volunteers from the business community have been meeting to build on the success of last year’s event with even more local companies and employers participating, and other additions that will benefit our students.

The schools will be sending all sophomores and juniors, with seniors also having the opportunity to participate. We estimate over 750 students will be in attendance!

1. Hiring now for immediate positions or for summer jobs.

2. Looking for committed and skilled employees to fill career technical, “trades,” vocational, apprenticeship positions in our workforce. Job shadowing is also an option.

3. Sharing career options in Clatsop County for our college-bound students, both at Clatsop Community College and four year colleges/universities. Many students are not aware of the diverse positions available in many industries in our own back yard, and we want our youth to come home after they graduate from college, or stay here after they graduate from Clatsop Community College.

The theme of the career and job fair is 60 percent career and 40 percent jobs focus. We want to give our students an overview of the many industries and sectors that make up our local economy.

The target sectors are: 1) Tourism & Hospitality. 2) Business, Banking, Finance & Professional Services. 3) Seafood Processing & Fishing. 4) Forest & Wood Products. 5) Health Care. 6) Retail. 7) Manufacturing. 8) Law Enforcement. 9) Career Technical, Contracting & Trades. 10) Education & Government. Public Sector.

This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to guide our students through options available to them, both short term and long-term, by our business and educational leaders and owners.

CEDR is spearheading fundraising to feed the 750 students, chaperones, school representatives and volunteers lunch, provide internet tools including an informational website for students, businesses and parents, and raffle prizes for the kids.

We have raised $3,200, and need to raise an additional $3,800 to cover the expenses. Any contribution $100 or more will be listed on the program and marketing materials, and contributions over $250 will be also be featured on signing at the event.

All donation amounts are welcome, and needed. Checks can be made out to CEDR, with a memo note in the check “career & job fair.” Invoices can also be sent. Contact us at 503-338-2402 or for more information.

To register as an employer to participate in the career & job fair, call Linda Wyss at WorkSource Northwest Oregon office at 503-325-4821 ext. 234, or email Linda at This event is free. Employers are asked to register as soon as possible as the entire list of employers participating will be provided to the schools in advance, and space is limited.

For more information, go to the CEDR’s website at, send an email to or call me, CEDR Executive Director Kevin Leahy, at 503-338-2342.

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