Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch knows the importance of work experience in a youth's life.
The father of four and grandfather of 10 recognizes it every day with his own family, but it was his first job as a stagehand at an outdoor theater in St. Louis where he first realized the importance of learning and continued education.
"A lot of individuals helped mentor me along that path as well about the importance of work, being on time and the quality of your work," Klipsch said.
In partnership with IowaWorks, Klipsch announced the 2017 Youth Job Fair Monday at City Hall, which is aimed pairing high school students with their first work experience.
"The biggest message for this job fair is that kids in our community know we care enough about them that we're going to try and help them find a job," Klipsch said. "There's a lot of people that say, 'Go out and find a job.' Well, that doesn't give a young person a lot of hope and opportunity there and may cause a lot of stress, discomfort and anxiety."
Klipsch said the job fair will take place 3-6 p.m. April 13 at the Davenport RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St.
The hope is to connect local youth with 25 or more employers from retail and food services industries as well as other opportunities in skilled trades.
"This is one of those because I think many kids want a job, want some more education and want some hope," Klipsch said. "This is what this is all about."
Christine Caves, employment and training counselor at IowaWork's Davenport office, said the co-branded event took life after speaking with stakeholders about the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act funding, which helps youths and young adults between 16-24 with barriers to employment get a first-time job or work experience.
"Stakeholders want to know how can we help youth find employment, that first-time job and that first-time experience to gain basic work habits and work skills," Caves said.
With that added training and experience, Caves said that IowaWorks can help with funding post-secondary education and training in a career or technical field.
"It's really great timing to be honest, aligning with Q2030 goals of getting more citizens in the Quad-Cities area with a post-secondary degree or certification," Caves said. "What better way to introduce youth to a first-time work experience, how to get those strategies for finding a job and how to find a pathway to post-secondary education and into the workforce."