On September 18, 2019, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Empleando Futuros (Employing Futures) project hosted four job fairs for project participants across Honduras. More than 500 young men and women attended the job fairs, which were held simultaneously in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choloma, and La Ceiba.
Thirty businesses were on hand to meet and interview potential staff, and some had information booths set up at more than one location. In preparation for the fairs, Empleando Futuros used donations from other organizations to create a “clothing closet” to provide youth with professional attire and grooming tips so that they could look and feel their best. Each young person received an average of three interviews at the job fairs.
Some of Honduras’ top employers were also present, including TIGO, Grupo Benlow, Espresso Americano, Grupo MCC (Mendels), and Cerverceria Hondureña. Businesses that participated in the fairs praised the project for the organization of the event as well as the quality and enthusiasm of the candidates who participated. In return, youth commented on how they not only appreciated the employment opportunity but also gained valuable interview experience for the future.
CRC, a business outsourcing firm that has hired over 50 Empleando Futuros graduates to work at PriceSmart, helped to launch the start of the job fair in Tegucigalpa by sharing their experience of partnering with the project. At the Tegucigalpa fair, 290 youth participated in at least 848 interviews. After the fair, businesses reported that they had pre-selected 350 candidates for further consideration, meaning that several youth were pre-selected by more than one employer. In fact, Grupo MCC (Mendels) hired ten youth within 24 hours of the job fair; those youth will start working within the next three weeks. In addition, two hearing-impaired youth were interviewed by Cerveceria Hondureña, ACTalentos, and Grupo San Rafael, companies that have expressed a desire to hire youth with disabilities. The Empleando Futurosproject plans to continue holding these job fairs throughout the life of project in order to insert even more youth directly into the labor market.