New Castle News

Local News

October 25, 2012

Sophomores in spotlight at annual career fair

NEW CASTLE — The future was on display yesterday at The Scottish Rite Cathedral, and all the participants were feeling good about it.

More than 700 sophomores from area high schools descended on the spacious site for the fourth annual Lawrence County Business and Industry Career Fair.

They departed a littler wiser and more aware of what jobs are likely to be there when they graduate in two years and what skillset they’ll need to land them.

Bob McCracken, executive director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s event was the biggest so far with 25 exhibitors in the lobby, including some from Youngstown, Meadville and Erie. He also noted that 62 companies were represented, many of whom sent employees to lend a hand.

“This event wouldn’t have grown like it has if not for this facility,” McCracken said. The county’s vo-tech school hosted the first career fair in 2009 before it moved to the current site.

The schedule was staggered throughout the day so buses from participating schools arrived on an alternating schedule, keeping the numbers steady from the start just before 9 a.m. to the close at 2 p.m. Dozens of students scoured the display area, asking questions of prospective employers and picking up brochures, booklets, candy and an array of other gifts and handouts.

A second group was downstairs listening to keynote speaker Jeremy Bout while yet another group was playing “Job Jeopardy” to the popular game show tune as they took a visual test posed by business leaders in the community.

School-to-work coordinator Paula McMillin had contacted administrators from area high schools to alert them to the event and its value. Students from New Castle, Laurel, Mohawk, Union, Riverside, Neshannock and the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center took advantage of the opportunity.

“We want students and their parents to know there are good job opportunities in Lawrence County,” McMillin said.

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