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Tailgating for Talent allows for fun, socially distanced employment connections

The growth in Trine University student enrollment and in the number of employers seeking to recruit Trine students for internships, co-ops and jobs already had the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center busting at the seams during fall and spring career fairs.

With social distancing now required to prevent the spread of COVID-19, creative solutions were needed.

“We had to do something different in order to keep everyone safe while still allowing employers the opportunity to connect with students,” said Terry Johnson, industry liaison at Trine’s Career Center.

To meet both goals, and to add an element of fun to the event, the university will host Tailgating for Talent in the parking lot of the university’s MTI Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

While the event may not have the grilled food and sports team logos of a typical tailgate, employers are encouraged to use the expanded space to park branded RVs and trucks, and show off equipment and products to demonstrate to students how their skills can be put to work.

The event typically attracts hundreds of Trine students in their most professional attire. However, due to the outdoor environment and the more festive atmosphere, this fall’s event will feature business casual.

Shambaugh & Sons is the presenting sponsor for the event. Troyer Group is the partner sponsor, and CE Electronics, Jayco and SME are supporting sponsors.

More than 99 percent of Trine students have been employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation over the past seven years.

The cost for employers is $250, which includes a tailgate spot, lunch for two representatives, a 6-foot table and a company description included in the Employer Virtual Booklet. Those wishing to be part of the booklet should register by Sept. 15 at bit.ly/TrineFairFA2020.

If inclement weather occurs, the Tailgate will move inside the MTI Center.

For more information, contact Johnson at (260) 665-4123 or johnsont@trine.edu, or Jason Watson, career coach and industry liaison, at (260) 665-4279 or watsonj@trine.edu.