Job fair shows options

As she checked out the tables at the Burbank Adult School's career fair on Tuesday, one particular booth gave adult-school graduate Carolyn Baskin pause.

Instead of the application forms and pamphlets featured at the other tables, a set of vampire teeth and a realistic rubber nose were carefully displayed on the table.

"I have a cosmetology degree," she said. "But this is the real scary stuff ? I'm not sure if I can do that."

Although Baskin is no longer attending classes at the school, she returned on Tuesday to volunteer and take a look at some of the options that the fair offered.

"I've never had a response like this," said Diana Dysthe, a counselor at the school responsible for the annual fair.

Over 20 local businesses responded to her invitation, including big names like Macy's, Sears and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

"We really are a little city," said Sarah Tilly, who was manning the Warner Bros.' booth.

"We have the professional-level jobs and then there's anything from cashiers to security guards."

The studio jumped at the opportunity to set up a booth at the fair because they want people to be aware of the scope of jobs available, Tilly said.

"People don't consider Warner Bros. a place where they can work," she said.

"We want the community to feel like we're a part of it."

Having the bigger names encourages students to take the fair seriously and helps them feel confident about the kinds of jobs they can get, Dysthe said.

"I think they were excited because of the names," she said. "This builds their confidence and gives them more motivation."

Many of the students at the fair are learning English as a second language, Dysthe explained.

Although they may have had professional training in other countries, the language barriers often prevent them from applying for jobs, she said.

"This helps them learn what opportunities are out there," Dysthe said.

Many local businesses take the opportunity to inform the students what kind of jobs are available and what kind of training they need to apply for.

"I think every hospital worries about nurses," said Diana Nelson, a recruiter from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. "Sometimes there are people who haven't thought about a medical career. You often get calls back after the fairs from people who are interested."

Adult School student Erica Castro left the fair with a backpack full of instructional videos and pamphlets, one of which came from Nelson. Actually applying for the job will have to wait a year or two, she said.

"Now I'm looking for college information," Castro said. "I want to go into nursing and the health field."

Booths representing Glendale Community College, Pasadena City College and even University of Phoenix advertised for programs like nursing and dental training.

"They told me about their financial aid," Castro said . "Maybe my future is in college." blr-career1.03-BPhotoInfoF11QIG2H20060503ifxw1akfDAN WATSON The Leader(LA)Marilu Calvillo, left, takes employment literature from Pat O'Donoghue of the Public Relations Department of Bob Hope Airport at last year's Burbank Adult School career fair.

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