Big turnout for teacher job fair at MCCTC
By Billy Ludt
A line of people interested in working in area schools backed out the doors of the Joyce Brooks Center and almost outside at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center.
They were there Wednesday for the Mahoning County Regional Teacher Job Fair.
The goal for the event was finding employment for teachers, filling out substitute-teaching certifications and meeting the demand for substitutes in area schools.
Kayli Dean of Mineral Ridge is student-teaching and finishing an early childhood teaching degree from Youngstown State University. She was inspired to pursue a career in education from her third-grade teacher.
“I want to stay in the area,” Dean said “Work that can keep me here would be awesome.”
Fourteen area school districts and education services spoke with people interested in full-time or substitute work. Candidates could speak one-on-one with school faculty and hand out resumes.
Eugene Thomas, Lowellville schools superintendent, said it was like speed interviewing, and the district will be able to employ people for core subject areas that need filled in the schools.
“It’s an awesome event that people rally around,” Thomas said. “It’s very competitive.”
The other utility is finding people qualified to substitute in the schools. Thomas said landing a teaching career can be difficult without prior classroom experience, and substitute teaching is a viable way to do so.
“Most of the substitutes that have come through the schools get jobs quickly,” he said.
The Mahoning Valley Regional Council of Governments enlisted the help of Rachel Wixey & Associates, a substitute-teacher recruiting service from Maumee, to help put the job fair together.
“There’s always a demand for substitutes,” said Maura Sandys, service and operations manager for Rachel Wixey & Associates. “Each day, there is at least one class in a district that needs filled.”
MVRCOG is pooling from a group of about 300 certified substitutes to fill those positions, but it’s looking for more. Schools have access to Aesop, an online service from which subs can be selected.
“Substitute work is a great way to get your foot in the door,” Sandys said. “Sometimes college graduates don’t know what subject they want to teach.”
Being in the classroom can help determine that, she said.
But substitute teaching isn’t exclusively for people with teaching degrees.
“Here’s an option where they can get into the classroom and teach,” said Don Dailey, director of the MVRCOG. “That’s what it’s all about.”
To qualify for a substitute license, candidates need to pass a background check and have a four-year degree in any area of study.