By JULIE CHURCH
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 29, 2001
This time, job fair doesn't disappoint
Last week's Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce job fair turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
"The turnout was more than I expected, that's for sure," chamber business assistance specialist Jerry Custin said of the 326 people who showed up for Tuesday's event at the City Council chambers.
Custin said the last time a job fair was held in the city, only one person showed up. That disappointed employers who spent several hours waiting for potential applicants.
Custin had said before the job fair that he would be happy to see 100 people there, but expected more like 50.
Of the 326 job seekers at the fair, 285 were from Pinellas County, 32 were from Hillsborough and nine were from Pasco County. Custin said he would have liked to see more applicants from neighboring counties.
It was disconcerting to organizers that only 10 job seekers rode the bus to the event. The job fair was designed in part to encourage ridership on the bus lines serving the area, and offered incentives to those who took advantage of them.
"That's something we definitely need to look into, why more people aren't riding the buses," Custin said.
But the feedback Custin received from businesses has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I haven't been to a fair where that many people came through in a long time," said Linda Campo, area director of human resources for Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital, which has an office in Oldsmar.
Campo estimated about 100 people visited her table. She said she ran out of her promotional materials, including business cards.
Campo anticipates hiring at least one person for Healthsouth's Oldsmar office as a result of the fair, and has a stack of resumes to refer to other offices.
Custin said that there will definitely be another job fair in the future, but he couldn't say when.
"We look at this (filling jobs in Oldsmar) as a process rather than a series of events," he said.
Marines get second son
Michael Barrow has joined the U.S. Marine Corps and will leave Sept. 24 for Parris Island, S.C., to begin basic training.
Michael, 18, will graduate from Oldsmar Christian School in June. He is the second son of Mike and Dana Barrow to join the Marines. Michael's older brother, David McKinley, 26, has been in the Marines for the past eight years and is stationed at Albany, Ga.
Want a middle school?
A committee is being formed to study bringing a middle school to Oldsmar.
The issue has drawn a great deal of interest from city residents in recent months, said Rita Diehl, an Oldsmar resident who is also the director of marketing and sales for the Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce. Many people are concerned that middle school students must travel at least 5 miles to attend the closest school to the city.
Diehl has been named by Mayor Jerry Beverland to head the committee, which will study the possible options for starting a middle school in northeast Pinellas County.
She says the committee will explore all options for a middle school, including working with residents of East Lake to lobby the School Board for support, finding a private company to sponsor a middle school and developing a charter school in the city.
An organizational meeting for the middle school exploratory committee will be held at 4 p.m. May 9 at East Lake Woodlands Country Club, 1055 East Lake Woodlands Parkway. To serve on the committee, call Diehl at (813) 855-4693.
Catch 'The Baseball Show'
The Oldsmar Performing Arts League Juniors will present The Baseball Show at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. May 6 at the Oldsmar Arts Centre, 402 St. Petersburg Drive.
The show is under the direction of Theresa Bailey and features actors, singers and dancers of all ages. The event is free, but donations are encouraged. Call (813) 855-6223 for information.
Top posters announced
The North Pinellas Optimist Club recently announced the winners of its annual "Say No to Drugs" poster contest for fourth- and fifth-grade students at Oldsmar Elementary School.
The winners in fourth grade are:
Kayla Green, first place.
Destynee Hendricks and Renee LeMaster, second place.
Dakota South and Ian Chapman, honorable mention.
The fifth-grade winners are:
Kimberly Meade, first place.
Jake Silva and Vanessa Ochoa, second place.
Karryn Cowell and Vanessa Cancio, honorable mention.
The winning posters were entered in the Optimist North District contest in Lake City.
-- If you have news or photos about Oldsmar schools, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, community organizations or people, contact Julie Church at the North Pinellas Times. You can call her at (727) 445-4229, e-mail material to her at email@example.com or mail material to North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.
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