For two months, Karolyn Bowlin’s employment start date was pushed back due to COVID staffing limitations at the company she was hired at in Elk Grove Village. She was invited to the March 15 Willow Creek Care Center Job Fair by her mother, Christine Dynskiok, a Care Center volunteer. With previous work experience in both adult and child care, she set off to explore other job possibilities as she waited to hear back. “Something’s gotta give,” said Bowlin.

Bowlin went row by row at the Willow Creek Care Center Job Fair, visiting every table until she met and chatted with Janay from Visiting Angels. “We just had a connection…We just clicked,” said Bowlin. She left the job fair having secured a phone interview for later that week. Coincidentally, she received a call that same day from her current employer to start soon, but she declined.

Later that week, Bowlin received a job offer as a caregiver with Visiting Angels. “I used to take care of my grandparents when I was younger…It’s something that I wish I would have gotten into a long time ago. It’s something I really enjoy because it’s not the same thing every day like being in front of a computer…Every day is different.”

Bowlin described the event as a nice contrast to packed job fairs that at times provide low to average quality interactions with employers. “It was very nice. It was very relaxed. I felt like this [job fair] was more personal…They took the time to actually talk to you, to get to know you, to answer your questions…When [employers] have time to actually talk to you for five to ten minutes, that makes a huge difference…”

“The Job Fair has been running and helping job seekers in our greater community for ten years. Thousands of participants have come through and each fair sees many people secure interviews with the vendors. We’re always excited to see how God uses the fair to bring people together with employers,” said Anne Rand, event organizer and long-term employment services coordinator in a press release.

There were 62 employers at the event, with over 200 attendants. About 139 interviews were scheduled between prospects and employers. Among the services offered, 45 headshots were taken, 32 resumes were reviewed, and five electronic devices won. Job seekers interested in connecting with employers can sign up for our community job board at wccarecenter.org/jobs.

ABOUT THE CARE CENTER: The Care Center is a ministry of Willow Creek Community Church that works with experts and partners in the Chicagoland area and nationally to help people find immediate relief and long-term services—like food, clothing, employment, and transportation. No matter who you are, you’ll find dignity, hope, and transformation at the Care Center. Visit, donate, or volunteer today at willowcreekcarecenter.org.

EMPLOYMENT COUNSELING: Employment counselors provide one-on-one consultations with anyone searching for a job or seeking resources or workshops to develop their skills. Additionally, anyone can search through our job board with thousands of current job openings, and attend our job fairs. We also have partnerships with second-change employers in IL. Learn more at wccarecenter.org/employment.