SALEM, Va. – Every year, the Western Virginia Public Education Consortium hopes to bring the best and brightest teaching prospects under one roof with its job fair.
“We are hiring teachers, and have teachers that are dealing with the youth of tomorrow," said Western Virginia Public Education Consortium Executive Director Terry Arbogast. "We have to have the best people possible.”
The job fair, which featured more than twenty school districts in the region, attracted hundreds of educators and aspiring teachers to the Salem Civic Center. Among them is Olivia Carr, who hoped to land a full-time special education teaching position.
“I was in special education, and I had some great role model teachers," said Carr. "I really want to push forward and help the kids.”
Attendees, including Carr, conducted interviews with school districts on the spot.
“There were a lot of interviews,” said Carr. “I had three interviews in the first five minutes I was here.”
Arbogast said more than 200 attendees pre-registered for the event, which is a record for the job fair. However, he says even more potential educators could come in the future, if Monday’s protest for increased teacher pay in Richmond leads to results.
“We need to continue to promote giving and getting the teachers the compensation they rightly deserve, because that will make a difference in getting people to go into the profession," Arbogast said. "We hear too many times that we don’t pay them enough.”
Regardless of how the protest goes, Arbogast remains optimistic that dedicated teachers and teaching prospects will continue to seek out the job fair.
“This is absolutely critical, that school divisions are able to identify those individuals,” Arbogast said.