(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - The seaside city of Carlsbad, CA hosted more than 500 job seekers on October 5th during the annual GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Jewelry Career Fair & Open House. Professionals at every career stage packed GIA’s 30-acre Carlsbad world headquarters, where 27 companies were on-hand and looking to fill hundreds of positions. Taking place the same day as national job numbers were released from the US government, the event proved a solid indicator that the business of bling has a bright future.
GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair drew crowds for hiring opportunities, one-on-one career coaching and an array of panel discussions with industry executives, entrepreneurs, and designers.
“A vibrant industry like ours can grow and thrive, even in challenging times,” said Donna Baker, GIA president and CEO. “It’s wonderful to see how many diverse opportunities the gem and jewelry business provides for talented, passionate professionals.”
The event kicked off with “Job Success in Today’s Market,” a panel presentation moderated by Baker. Panelists Matt Runci, president and CEO of Jewelers of America; GIA graduate Charlie Herner, CAD/CAM director, Green Lake Jewelry Works; Cathryn Ramirez, group director, Tiffany & Co.; and Jordan Tabach-Bank, owner and CEO of Beverly Loan Company and New York Loan Company, shared their experiences in the gem and jewelry business and offered insider advice for job seekers looking to move ahead or start their careers.
Later in the day, designers Erica Courtney, president of Erica Courtney, Inc.; JJ Williams, president of JJ Number 8; and Marc Schneider, owner of Marc Schneider Designs, joined Martin Katz, president of Martin Katz Ltd., and moderator Frank Proctor, president/CEO of Luxury Brand Group for a discussion on “Design to Finish.” The panel explored the exciting world of design and manufacturing, and provided insight into careers in these areas of the industry.
“Career Fair panelists are by far the best inspiration that we can offer people looking to join the ranks of the jewelry profession,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA vice-president, CMO and co-founder of the GIA Career Fair. “The dynamic and fascinating people who were kind enough to give of their time and expertise demonstrated the talent, ambition, intellect and character that make our industry so wonderful and so unique.”
Finally, in a lively discussion moderated by Marc Smelzer - publisher of JCK Magazine and JCK Online - panelists including celebrity stylist George Blodwell, antique and estate jewelry expert Mona Lee Nesseth, Emitations.com President and CEO Au-Co Mai, and gemologist/designer Jeff Mason focused on “Creative Careers” and some of the sensational career paths related to gems and jewelry, demonstrating just how diverse the industry truly is.
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, Montblanc, Tiffany & Co. and Zale Corporation were among the 27 companies recruiting for hundreds of positions from retail sales and jewelry design to diamond grading and production. Job seekers had the opportunity to interact directly with hiring managers and learn first-hand what kind of skills each company sought.
GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair was founded in 1991 in Southern California and has taken place in Carlsbad, Bangalore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New Delhi and New York. October 5th marks the first time GIA hosted simultaneous events with a Career Fair taking place in New Delhi as well as in Carlsbad. The New Delhi event was a remarkable success as well, drawing more than 300 job seekers and 40 recruiters.
For more details visit www.careerfair.gia.edu.