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Sycamore’s community expo offers job, volunteer networking

March 31, 2017 GMT

SYCAMORE – Having recently moved to the area, Regenia Tijerina decided to take her four children to Sycamore High School for Thursday’s annual community expo hosted by the DeKalb and Sycamore chambers of commerce.

The event featured food samples from a variety of local restaurants, live demonstrations, inflatable bounce houses, a live DJ and crafts and games for kids.

“I just thought it would be fun for the kids to see what the city has to offer,” Tijerina said.

Other attendees were given the opportunity to network with various businesses and organizations.

Graciela Horta, student outreach coordinator for Kishwaukee College, said her school was offering degree programs and training for the various needs of students.

“There’s certain misconceptions about going to community college, but we offer transfer degrees and certification to put people straight into the workforce,” Horta said. “We have a little bit of everything and for students who want to experience campus, there’s many clubs and organizations.”

Alex Nerad, executive director of the Egyptian Theatre, was in attendance for the second year to seek volunteers at the theater to be ushers, concession workers, ticket takers and to help with special events.

“The expo has been a great opportunity to network with businesses and community members so we’re back here a second time,” Nerad said.

For younger attendees, Kishwaukee United Way Executive Director Dawn Littlefield was promoting the Day of Caring volunteer day in June.

“The day consists of projects at about 30 local agencies and gives us a great opportunity to give back to the community through service, and learn more about local nonprofits,” Littlefield said.

Projects have included delivering meals, working on community garden plots and decorating place mats for the Meals on Wheels program, Littlefield said.

Kishwaukee United Way also was promoting Money Smart Week, which occurs the week of April 22 and offers to help consumers better manage their personal finances.

“As a part of our Money Smart Week work, we will have over 100 local events for kids and families ranging from Kids Reads at local libraries to youth, college and adult events about how to be ‘money smart,’” Littlefield said.