Kitchener startup connects young people with jobs

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Graphics by Candice Cheng

As unemployment levels reach a record high due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local startup JobJunxion is changing lives by connecting young people with jobs during a difficult time.

“It’s a really tough job market for recent grads. We want to give this cohort a hand up,” Sarah Gray, JobJunxion’s Customer Success Lead, said. 

Many employers seek grads with previous job experience, and a lack of experience can be a disadvantage even for those in high-demand programs such as computer science. 

JobJunxion started with a dream to fix the disconnect between grads and employers. The startup is changing the game, preparing students for the job market by providing valuable experience through their Technology Boot Camp program.

“We’re creating new ways to build experience. We want to be the hub for opportunities to build practical skills new grads need to land employment,” said Gray. “That’s why we launched our Technology Boot Camp to help prepare grads in our database for those positions.” 

The Technology Boot Camp is a 12 week program that is currently being offered remotely. The first six weeks focus on providing technological experience in writing, debugging, and testing code, while the last six weeks are spent providing companies with assistance in coding websites and databases.

“We know what employers in our database are looking for, so we designed this program to match those needs,” Gray said. “Meanwhile, the students are building experience and relationships that could lead to a paid position.”

Following the success of JobJunxion’s Technology Boot Camp, planning for The Business Development Boot Camp is underway and will hopefully lead its participants to successful careers in marketing, sales, and customer service. 

JobJunxion is also expanding its services to volunteering by connecting interested candidates with organizations accepting volunteers during the pandemic.

Volunteering is a great way to build relationships and skills right now,” Gray said.

Rene Dunkley was one JobJunxion candidate who was able to turn her volunteer position at Design.local into a paid summer internship.

“My internship with a marketing agency was cancelled because of COVID-19 and I was looking for opportunities to expand my skills. I responded to JobJunxion’s email and my volunteer position quickly turned into a summer internship position. Before signing up for JobJunxion, I had no idea how I was going to get the hands-on experience I needed for my career,” Dunkley said.

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