BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Students and adults in the community searching for jobs had an opportunity to meet with employers on Monday.

Bay District Schools is hosting the second annual job fair this week.

Sharon Michalik with Bay District Schools said she is thrilled to help host the job fair— an idea that started last year.

“We had businesses in our community that needed to hire… We have students that need to learn those job skills that come from your first job, your second job,” she said. “I just thought why not bring them all together. So it was kind of an idea from last year and it’s going strong this year.”

Students lined the Rutherford High School cafeteria on Monday, eager to learn more about jobs available in the community.

Michalik said it’s important for young people to get that kind of experience.

“Kids are afraid to go out on their own, so in this environment, ‘I’ can walk up to a table with my friend, ‘we’ can get a piece of candy together, ‘we’ can talk to someone together,” she said. “One of the business owners was talking about just the importance of kids getting that skill, even that practice without having to drive around town and go to a bunch of different businesses and not doing stuff online. You really get a feel for people when you meet in person, so we’re so glad that we’re able to do this.”

Local businesses agree.

“We like to talk to schools and have people that are in the community as our employees,” Jeff Rice with Whataburger said.

“We’ve been through hard times, whether it be a hurricane or wildfires, so like everyone else, we’re looking to hire the best and brightest in the community, and what better place to come than to a high school,” David Cornett with E. F. San Juan said.

Michalik said the first day of the job fair was a success.

“The kids were great, so polite and respectful… Just really excited to get to talk to everything from fast food to restaurants to hospitality and tourism,” she said. “Businesses on the beach have made the trek over to this side of town which is awesome. Military, colleges, universities, law enforcement, Department of Corrections. The trades as well. If you can name it, we’ve got someone from that industry here.”

If you missed out on Monday’s job fair, there are two other opportunities this week.

The fair will also be at Arnold High School on Wednesday and Bay High School on Friday from 3:15 to 5 p.m.