CHICAGO The Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair will be held Wed., Oct. 22, 2014, Noon to 4 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. The free event includes job advice, break-out sessions detailing best interview and employee practices as well as legal issues in the workplace, plus food and prizes.
The latest studies show an alarmingly high unemployment and poverty rate in the LGBTQ community. In order to address the issue and as a follow-up to the Windy City Times LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit in May 2014, Windy City Times, Chicago House TransWorks, TransTech, Affinity and the Center on Halsted will be hosting an LGBTQ Job Fair open to ages 18 and above. Jobs from internship and entry level to mid-career will be available for applications.
Corporations signed up to date include United Airlines, Uber, Northern Trust, Whole Foods, Lurie Children's Hospital, Christy Webber Landscapes, The Chopping Block, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and Roosevelt University, which will provide opportunities for further education.
44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney added his support to the fair. "We know that obtaining gainful employment is the key to success," Tunney said. "This fair is a great way to break down barriers that face LGBT job seekers both young and old. LGBT employees should be valued contributors to any workplace and economic opportunity should be a reality for all communities."
The fair will be preceded by free four-day intensive job readiness training sessions hosted by Chicago House.
The latest figures from the Williams Institute at UCLA state that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults experience an unemployment rate at 40% above the national average while transgender adults are twice as likely to be unemployed as a typical U.S. worker.
The Work! Chicago job fair is open to all experience levels in the LGBTQ community.
Organizers are still seeking company participants who can email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application or further details. Booths are just $75 for businesses and $50 for non-profits and the deadline has been extended to Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.
Break-out sessions and labs
The fair will also include break-out sessions open to all participants. At 1 p.m., Greg O'Neill, entrepreneur and co-owner of Pastoral, will host a session entitled "How to Get and Keep Your Job". Panelists will include Angela Koon of the State's Attorney's Office, business owner Kinley Preston, recruitment and HR expert Julie West of The Harvest Consulting Group, Shawn Kotwa (general manager of LKH Management, which runs Lakeview's Hydrate, Elixir, Replay, Halsteds as well as Manhole and Whiskey Trust), and Christy Webber, president of Christy Webber Landscapes.
At 2 p.m., Owen Daniel McCarter of the Transformative Justice Law Project will host a session which will inform participants of their rights concerning legal and discrimination issues while on the job.
From 1-4 p.m. in the Center on Halsted Cyber Center, staff members from TransTech Social Enterprises (TTSE) will be "Exploring Freelance Employment Options" The first portion of the workshop will be an open discussion regarding "The Philosophy of Freelancing": dispelling the myths, covering the pros and cons, as well as the best practices for successful freelancers.
The second portion will be interactive with participants encouraged to use the computers to explore resources such as on-demand employment and skill building websites. TransTech Facilitators and apprentices will be available to answer questions and provide one-on-one help.
Coffee and lights snacks for participants will be on hand from Ann Sather and there will be a chance for them to win prizes courtesy of Windy City Times.
Chicago House Training
Chicago House is offering a free LGBTQ job-readiness training. Topics discussed include self-awareness, self-esteem, communication, career planning, conflict resolution, anger management, self-care, goal setting, interview skills, resume, and cover letter writing. Other topics will include coming out or transitioning and best practices.
Participants that take part in the job readiness workshop are assigned a Career Specialist to help with setting career goals and objectives. A Career Specialist is a career-focused counselor, who provides one-on-one guidance both before and after a participant gets a job.
Participants wishing to take part in the LGBTQ job readiness workshop should call Chicago House Employment program at 773-248-5200 ext. 109 and mention how they heard about the training.