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UW-Eau Claire's Community
Action Fair Set for Feb. 1

RELEASED: Jan. 24, 2007

CAF logoEAU CLAIRE — Volunteer opportunities, internships and careers in the common good will be showcased at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Community Action Fair Thursday, Feb. 1. A collaborative effort of the Center for Service-Learning and the Activities and Programs office's Community Action and Lifelong Learning program, the event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center.

The goal of the Community Action Fair is to demonstrate the real connections that can be made between volunteer service during college and the range of gratifying career opportunities to be found in the nonprofit sector and government service.

One emphasis of the Community Action Fair is volunteering in the greater Chippewa Valley for the benefit of both the individual student and the community.

"Through service, the volunteer learns more about the community and helps fill an identifiable need," said Paula Stuettgen, student development coordinator and director of the CALL program. "The university places an emphasis on service to the community as a way of practicing the theories and methods learned in the classroom. Learning through action is the key, and service-learning gives it a community-wide context."

A number of the represented agencies provide opportunities that enable student volunteers to receive university credit or to fulfill the university's service-learning requirement.

The Community Action Fair also showcases internships and career opportunities offered by local, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

"Career opportunities in the nonprofit and government sector are often an almost invisible part of the career options presented on campuses," said Dr. Donald Mowry, director of the Center for Service-Learning. "Yet a nonprofit sector position will likely offer more opportunities for responsibility, leadership and immediate growth than would be possible in a private, profit-oriented sector position. In addition, these career paths offer something the private sector does not: a career with a central mission devoted to working towards a better world for all.

Mowry said that more than 130 million people are estimated to be working in government or nonprofit sector jobs. In the federal sector alone, approximately 900,000 of those workers may be eligible to retire within the next few years.

"That translates into a huge variety of opportunities for college students," Mowry said. "State and local public agencies, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations and the federal government all will be looking for people from every major and field of study in the next few years. Many offer excellent benefits, including education benefits."

Agencies and organizations will distribute information about their mission at the Community Action Fair and will be on hand to speak with students about volunteer opportunities, internships and careers in the common good. A series of speakers will be scheduled to discuss such topics as job opportunities with the federal government and national service organizations such as AmeriCorps. A list of participating organizations can be found at the Center for Service-Learning Web site.

To help put individuals and organizations in touch with community agencies in need of volunteers, CALL publishes an annual directory and a bi-monthly newsletter which list service opportunities and job descriptions. The CALL program's Web site contains the most current information regarding agency listings.

For copies of publications and more information about the Community Action Fair, contact the Activities and Programs office at 715-836-4833, or the Center for Service-Learning at 715-836-4649.

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JS/NW

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