More than 50 businesses and agencies attended the 2018 Hauraki and Coromandel Business and Careers Expo. The annual expowas held at the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre on 8 August, from 9am to 4pm. It's a collaboration of our Council and CAN DO, Coromandel Action Network District Owned. CAN DO is a group of like-minded people in the business community focused on business growth and employment. Now in its third year, the expo helps match youth with businesses to create pathways for employment. It also offers an opportunity for businesses to showcase what they do to youth and encourage them to stay and work in the region. "Kids get to see and understand businesses in our area, and understand more about careers from a practical point of view - to get an opportunity to do Gateway after school, work experience, or holiday work experience, which is really important for them moving forward, and internships, cadetships and apprenticeships," says co-ordinator Marlene Perry, our Council's Economic Development Officer. Exhibiting at the expo has been valuable for both businesses and those looking for work, she says. "It helps businesses become more youth-friendly and youth become more business-friendly," she says. "It's the relationships the kids have with the businesses locally that means that they're welcome back to work here. If you don't build those relationships, you actually lose your young people and that's what we're trying to do." There will be a jobs board at the expo, along with a human resources section, and areas for entrepreneurs, digital, trades and volunteers that can offer training and skill sets. Students from Thames High School, Coromandel Area School, Mercury Bay Area School, Manaia School, Whangamata Area School, Paeroa College and Hauraki Plains College will attend. Those registered so far include Hauraki PHO, Waikato DHB and Bupa; Workwise, Bachcare, Read Bros, Pak'nSave, Hospice, Salvation Army and Jolly Bikes. Service agencies attending include Thames Rotary, Thames Business Association, Thames Community Centre and the Seagull Centre. There will also be representatives from the arts, building, farming, education and engineering sectors, along with government agencies and emergency services. More information at www.candothames.org.nz.