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On May 9, Democratic GAIN, an association that focuses on the training and development of progressive political professionals, particularly millennials, held a job fair at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA) in the District. The event was attended by more than 140 people. The executive director, Kouri Marshall, told the AFRO that this is no ordinary job fair.

“We have organizations and associations who are interested in hiring people and hiring them now,” Marshall said. “We are trying to get people, especially people of color and women, hired by these progressive organizations. We are really trying to get people hired in significant roles such as communications director, head of human resources, and finance directors.”

Millennials are Americans born from 1980-2000, an estimated 83.1 million people according to a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. In 2015 Millennials, the largest group of Americans ever by generation, passed by Baby Boomers, born between 1945-1965, in number.

Millennials have shown their political strength with their strong support of Barack Obama in his presidential election in 2008 and his re-election in 2012, although the House and Senate being held by Republican majorities showed the limits of their power. Many millennials are attempting to change the workplace through their use of social media and more tolerant attitudes on issues such as same-sex marriage and the role of women and minorities in American society.

Organizations at the fair seemed to recognize the value of millennials and included environmental groups such as the League of Conservation Voters, Environmental America, and Clean Water Actions and politically-oriented organizations such as DC Vote, Emily’s List, the Virginia Democratic Party, and the Hillary Clinton for president campaign. Advocacy organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Center for Community Change had tables and labor unions such as the NEA and AFSCME were seeking professionals, along with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, groups working to elect Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, respectively.

There were long lines at the Clinton campaign table with a staffer taking the time to talk to each prospective employee. One of those prospects was Khadijah Brydson, a millennial who is a staunch Clinton fan. “I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton because her experience as the secretary of state, U.S. senator, and first lady makes her the best candidate in the race,” Brydson, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, told the AFRO. “My family has supported the Clintons in the past. I like Secretary Clinton because she isn’t afraid to address issues that are important to the American people.”

Brydson is an experienced political professional. She has worked with the DCCC as a field organizer and wants to continue hone her advocacy skills. “That is why I am here at this job fair,” she said. “I want to learn a lot more in the field of advocacy and I wanted to see who can offer me that opportunity.”

While most of the job fair participants seeking employment lived in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, there were a few who didn’t. Maceo H. Karriem is a student at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York City who has volunteered with the College Democrats of America and worked with a youth mentoring organization in his neighborhood.

Karriem eagerly spoke with recruiters and seemed to take in the experience of the fair. He was upbeat after leaving the Clinton and the D.C. Vote tables. “I am here to expand my horizons,” Karriem said. “I wanted to see what goes on in the nation’s capital and help African Americans in D.C. who don’t have a vote in Congress.”

Millennials weren’t just looking for jobs; they were some who were recruiting. Darnetta Hollis is the operations coordinator for the District-based Center for Community Change that focuses on helping low-income communities, especially those of people of color, create social movements to improve their living conditions. “We have a number of positions available,” Hollis told the AFRO. “We are not necessarily looking for millennials but they are definitely welcome to apply with us.”

Marshall said that this was the 14th job fair sponsored by Democratic GAIN. “We have events like this around the country though this is the largest,” he said. “We are looking at this becoming larger in the future.”