TAHLEQUAH – As part of its efforts to help connect job seekers with employers, Cherokee Nation Career Services hosted its Diversified Job Fair at the Cherokee County Community Building on May 19.
Such job fairs are also an opportunity for the CN and Cherokee Nation Businesses to recruit talent. There were booths for the Nation’s human resources, nursing and child care programs, the Literacy Center and Talking Leaves Job Corps.
“We had more than 150 candidates come into the fair in just the first couple of hours,” said Hunter Palmer, director of economic development for CN Career Services. “We try to hold a number of recruitment and diversified job fairs throughout the year. It not only helps our Cherokee citizens find jobs, it also helps our regional employers.”
Career Services was unable to host many job fairs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Palmer said the May 19 turnout was the best since before the lockdowns.
“Here, we have 25 to 30 different vendors from different industries,” Palmer said. “There are medical jobs, trucking, government and tribal jobs, manufacturing – a wide range of opportunities which brings people into a diversified setting.”
Provalus, an IT services enterprise considering a location in Tahlequah, was in attendance. The company works across a spectrum of IT, including cybersecurity and network operations, and its client list includes organizations such as Chick-Fil-A, the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T, Verizon and Fox News.
“We’re trying to make some decision on one or two communities, and now we are down to negotiations,” said Will Ruzic, vice president of operations for Provalus. “Tahlequah has been on our radar for a while. Every time we come here, it just gets better and better. The downtown is vibrant with a lot of people. We are very interested in there being a four-year university downtown. That can create some partnership and internship opportunities for computer science majors.”
Ruzic said the Cherokee Nation is also a big plus in the consideration of Tahlequah.
“I’ve spent some time with (Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.), and as we learn more and more, we’re absolutely blown away,” Ruzic said. “We are impressed by their support, not only for their own people, but also for the community of Tahlequah and the entire region.”
American Airlines was a high profile company with a booth at the Diversified Job Fair.
“We’ve had a lot of people come by, particularly to our IT area,” said Craig Sully, CRO and Tulsa tech ops director for American Airlines. “We love to have people come to American and be part of our family.”
Among other businesses present, listed by Career Services, were Harmony House; Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology; the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Fire Department; Oklahoma Department of Transportation; Heavy Metal Training Institute; American Welding Laboratories; RLC Business Services; Conner Industries, Inc.; Northeastern Health System; Go Ye Village; Department of Rehabilitation; Cherokee Temps Inc.; U.S. Army; CaptiveAire; Custom Seating Inc.; Cherokee Nation Home Health; Tahlequah Public Works; Abel Moving; Bank of the Cherokees; and the Health and Wellness Center.
“Career Services is the employment and training area of the tribe,” Palmer said. “Our goal is to get as many people trained and employed as we can. With these training and employment programs, we can work with our vocational partners to provide training and work with area employers to help these trained people go to work.”