Five local colleges are coming together to help students and recent graduates find jobs during the pandemic.

The virtual Quad Cities College Career Fair will take place noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30.

St. Ambrose University, Augustana College, Western Illinois University Quad Cities, Black Hawk College and Eastern Iowa Community Colleges are co-hosting this event.

Their career fairs usually happen in person but were canceled because of COVID-19.

More than 60 employers and hiring organizations will have virtual booths, hold one-on-one sessions and conduct interviews on Handshake, an online platform.

The schools are hoping students can still make connections — even through computer screens.

“It’s the opportunity for all of the Quad Cities to network, meet the employers,” said Eastern Iowa Community Colleges Dean of Students Michael Beane. “Really, it’s about networking. It’s about making those opportunities (and) engaging with the employers. You never know who your next boss is going to be.”

The five local schools enroll more than 16,000 students total in certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

The fair will include potential internships and apprenticeships, as well as part- and full-time job positions in business, government, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofits, science and social services.

To attend, students simply go to Handshake and sign up based on their home institution.

After completing their free profile, they can register for the 2020 Quad Cities College Career Fair and view employers by visiting the event page.

Students will then have access to jobs, internships and public career events.

For assistance, students should contact their school’s career center or email Angela Striegel at Black Hawk College.