JPNDC to Hold Virtual Job Fair for First Dispensary

Core Empowerment, LLC will soon be opening the first adult-use cannabis store in Jamaica Plain under the name Seed, and is looking to hire people for several retail and customer service positions.

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) will be hosting a virtual job fair for Seed on December 11 from 10am-11am. The Gazette spoke with Enrique Ponce, a career coach for the JPNDC, and Paola Liendo, JPNDC’s Economic Prosperity Program Senior Manager, to learn more about the job fair and how the JPNDC aims to help residents apply for these jobs.

Liendo explained that the job fair is part of JPNDC’s Job Readiness Program, which includes career coaching and helping people apply for “jobs that are going to lead them up a career ladder, not just a minimum wage job.”

She also said that the coaching is paired with education such as language access, skills training, and college prep classes.

“We want them to have a career path,” Ponce said of program participants, by starting with entry level positions and then moving up.

Liendo said that financial coaching is also offered to these clients to provide them an opportunity to improve both their credit and their income.

She said that the job fair will be conducted in two phases, beginning with the orientation session on December 11 where people will learn about the available jobs at Seed as well as how JPNDC will be assisting throughout the application process.

“If they don’t have resumes, we will coach them through that,” she said.

The second phase includes the submission of resumes to JPNDC so the organization can help fine tune them and assist people in actually applying for the open positions, as well as one on one interviews with candidates. Liendo said that it’s important to note that these jobs are CORI friendly, and JPNDC can assist with any questions related to that.

Ponce said that one on one sessions with candidates includes discussion of education, skills, and experience and how to apply those to a resume and an interview with the employer.

Aside from retail and customer service positions, there are also positions related to the museum that will be located inside the dispensary that provides information on the historical impact of cannabis on communities of color, Liendo said.

Ponce said that candidates are asked by the JPNDC how they feel about being interviewed and whether or not they have participated in one before. There are opporunities to practice interviews through role playing scenarios, which can better prepare people for their actual interviews.

He added that JPNDC can also connect them with other employers as well and will continue to work with people to find a job that best fits their desires, skills, and experience.

Liendo said that JPNDC is hosting this job fair to ensure that people who have been “unfairly affected” and “disadvantaged” are given an opportunity to access “good paying jobs that will offer stability for them.”

Ponce added that “it’s a big challenge for people when they want to return to society and find an opportunity. We want to open this door.”

For more information and to register for the free virtual job fair, visit jpndc.org/corejobfair.

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