Opportunities evolve at the Coromandel/Hauraki Business and Careers Expo 10 August 2018 The Thames War Memorial Civic Centre was humming with members of the community, students, businesses and volunteers from across our district attending the CAN DO (Coromandel Action Network District Owned) Coromandel/Hauraki Business and Careers Expo. Photo above: Thames High School students experience what is involved in working or volunteering for the St John ambulance service. Now in its third year, more than 60 businesses showcased what they have to offer to encourage people to investigate all their opportunities and stay and work in our region. "We had a brilliant turn out and range of exhibitors," says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. "The expo is great for our community because it's all about finding jobs for our local people and our youth. I think it's been even more engaging this year as many of the exhibitors had interactive activities such as the roading company Higgins with their excavator simulator (pictured right), because you can always get a job here if you know how to use a digger with the amount of slips we clear from the roads." The expo was a collaboration between our Council and CAN DO, who are a group of like-minded people in the business community focused on business growth and employment. "The expo is absolutely vital for industries to connect with each other and for the young people to come and see what's available," says CAN DO Chair, Warren Sly. "They are able to connect with real people from local businesses and see what real jobs are like," he says. "I think the standard of the exhibits this year was exceptional and the interaction has been wonderful. I am sure next year will be even better." Students from Thames High School, Whangamata Area School, Coromandel Area School, Paeroa College and Hauraki Plains College attended. "The expo was a big step up from last year," says Thames High School Principal, Dave Sim. "The students were really engaged in the activities and we will definitely be back next year." Representatives from Destination Coromandel (pictured right) said they enjoy having students complete work experience at their I-sites so they can have a taste of what the tourism industry is like, and the expo is a great opportunity to engage with young people interested in the industry. Timothy Young, CEO and Founder of Education These Days Limited (pictured right), was at the expo and was pleased students could try out his game. "It's good for students to experience the game and hopefully they will tell their teachers about it," says Timothy. "I also created a career pathway if they want to get into game development to show how they can do that. It would be good to get more people interested in game development and educational video games." Fire and Emergency displayed their volunteer recruitment and career recruitment for both the students and adults. "We are showing them the gear that they can try (pictured right), videos that are used for pre-entry and cognitive tests and we also have a virtual meeting room where they can experience what its like to be in a fire and how to get out," says Shane Bromley, Fire and Emergency Volunteer Support Officer for the Eastern Waikato. "Here in Thames we have six volunteer fire-fighters that are from Thames High School, which is awesome and we would love to have more young people involved." Picture below: A Thames High School student discusses the role of a Police officer. The Hospice shop in Thames opened about a year ago and is the face of Hospice to raise money to provide services for palliative care in the area. "We are really interested in having young people work in the shop because they bring such a creative edge and often have a passion for op-shopping," says Sharyn Cawood, Hospice Assistant Regional Retail Manager. "Young people are so quick to learn and we would really like some to volunteer at our Thames shop." Check out www.hospicewaikato.org.nz for more information. "A big thank you to all sponsors and exhibitors, we really appreciate your time and effort in showcasing your businesses," says our Council's Economic Development Officer Marlene Perry. "It was also great to have the support from our Mayor Sandra Goudie (pictured right) and Otorohanga Mayor Max Baxter and Hauraki District Councillor Ross Harris on behalf of Mayor John Tregidga, as well as Mayors Taskforce for Jobs." We would love to get feedback for those who came along. Please email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who were unable to attend please visit www.candothames.org.nz for more information. Check out our Facebook page for more photos from the expo.