Welcome Week at Laney opens with resource fair

February 3, 2017 3:11 PM

Many students entering the Student Center on Jan. 24 were surprised to find a variety of tables dotted with leaflets and clad in bright tablecloths.
The booths advertised a multitude of services provided by Laney and other organizations in order to assist students in managing their personal lives outside of school.
“Students spend so much energy finding work — or even something to eat,” said Lynna Wong, coordinator for the Employment Services Center.
“We just want to provide the resources so they can spend their time studying instead.”
Among the services tabled were several organizations offering employment assistance, such as Eagle Hire, a Laney-run online job database.
Several of the tables sported flyers and pamphlets from organizations providing health care services for community members who may feel ostracized from mainstream society, such as Lao Family Community Development and Asian Health Services (AHS).
AHS provides health and advocacy assistance with an emphasis on members of Oakland’s Asian community, but their services are open to all.
“We accept anybody,” said Koji Sakakibara, an AHS representative at the fair.
“Ninety percent of the employees speak English and another Asian language.”
Veterans were also represented at the fair by the Oakland Vet Center, which provides mental health services for veterans suffering from PTSD or affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
Other tables included CalFresh, United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline, and SafeLink Wireless.
Many of the students who attended the fair stumbled upon it—though happy for the information, at least one student was upset about the lack of promotion for the fair.
“All of these booths are awesome but the information doesn’t get to the students,” said Andrea Calfuquir.
She also expressed concern over the lack of an accessible schedule of events at Laney.
“I just feel, like, a big disconnection,” said Calfuquir. “I wanna know.”
All of the students queried were unaware of the Resource Fair’s existence before entering the Student Center and finding the tables.
“We struggle to see how we can get word out to the students,” said Wong, who noted that the fair’s proximity to the first day of school made it hard to advertise.
Wong said that the Employee Services Center used handouts and posters to promote the fair.
Employment Development and Bio-Medical Engineering Technology Program Manager Raya Zion estimated that around 80 students attended the fair and was hopeful that more students would come to the second fair on Feb. 1.
“We feel that anytime students receive supportive services then we are successful,” said Zion.
“It would have definitely been more successful had more students known about it and participated.”
Students who missed the Resource Fair or require more information about any of the organizations represented may inquire at the Employment Services Center in the Transfer Center, room 201 in the Tower building.
Drop-ins are welcome daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
Those requesting one-on-one time with a job search coach should email Employment Services at laneyemploymentservices@gmail.com.
Laney Employment Services will host the Spring Internship Fair in the Student Center on Feb. 9, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 14, from noon to 1 p.m.

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