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Norfolk Public Schools, Hampton Roads Workforce Council, and City of Norfolk Economic Development partnered to host the first annual “Hire Our Grads” events. Companies throughout the City of Norfolk interviewed over 50 graduating students from the skilled trades and technical programs to connect Norfolk’s students with good paying jobs in our City.  

On May 16th, “Interview Day” was held at Norfolk Technical Center, where over 20 companies interviewed graduates for job opportunities, including Craiberly Enterprises, Inc., Campostella Builders & Supply Corporation, Lyon Shipyard, Inc., BAUER COMPRESSORS INC., Hampton Roads Transit, Tabet Manufacturing Inc., CNIC, Versus Salon, Jody’s Popcorn, Peoples Pharmacy, Norfolk 911/EOC, Hair Cuttery, Advanced Integrated Technologies (AIT), HRSD, KITCO Ltd., Top Guard Security, Fairlead Integrated, Norfolk Public Schools, The Literacy Lab, and Sentara Health.

“Attracting new companies and helping our existing businesses grow is only half the job” said Mike Paris, our Department’s Bureau Manager of Business Retention and Expansion. “Ensuring projects get built & connecting the community to the incoming family-raising jobs with benefits is the other half.” 

“Skilled trades and healthcare trades are critical, and there is a nationwide shortage” said Mayor Kenny Alexander. “One of our ways of filling these gaps and addressing the critical need are to Hire Our Grads.”

For the “Signing Day” celebration on June 6th, students who received job offers were formally congratulated and offered words of encouragement from Capt. Janet H. Days, the first Black female Commanding Officer of Naval Station Norfolk, and Sean Washington, Interim Director of Economic Development. The event was a resounding success and met with great feedback from the graduates and businesses. “What it’s about is trying to partner and align the job opportunities we know that exist in this great market with the talent and the students that we know are here as well” says Sean Washington. “Collaboration is key.” We look forward to growing this initiative each year and connecting our community to opportunities within the City of Norfolk.