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Hundreds of young adults attend summer job fair

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BATON ROUGE - An event to help young people find jobs was overrun Saturday with eager youngsters looking for work.

The first Youth Explosion turned out to be an overwhelming success, attracting more youngsters than organizers expected.

Jonathan Gray, 16, is one of the hundreds of teens looking for a summer job.

"I did three applications and never was contacted back," Gray told WBRZ.

14-year-old Maya Hernandez is also looking for a summer job. She came out to the first Youth Explosion held at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge. The hiring and training fair helps employers match potential employees ranging from 14 to 24 years old.

"I didn't know what to expect, but when I got here, I realized that there were so many opportunities," Hernandez said.

A wide array of employers interviewed candidates on the spot. From the job corps to the manager of a local dentist office, many employers are looking for summer help.

"I want a good work ethic and I also want them to be motivated to do the job," dental office manager Danetta Smith told News 2. 

This is the first year for this joint effort between the Mayor's Office's Youth Employment Program and the Division of Human Development and Services.

"You never know what to expect," Director of Human Development and Services Vernadine Mabry said. "We had well more than a thousand kids here, and we even had to turn kids back."

Gray didn't have way get to the job fair, but he's determine to find work this summer.

"I want a job to get me off the streets," he said.

Teenagers and young adults still looking for work can contact the McKinley High Alumni Association for more information on where they get applications for the youth summer jobs program.

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