New programs bring more faces to CCST job fair
— The recent addition of new programs at the Cecil County School of Technology brought several new organizations to the school’s annual career fair held on Thursday.
Of the fair’s 56 companies, 10 came to the event for the first time with many of those companies looking to recruit students in the five programs that were added last January: Curriculum for Agricultural Science, Education (CASE), homeland security and emergency preparedness, interactive media productions and Project Lead the Way: Biomedical Sciences.
The fair draws companies from all over the county, state and region as well as a number of military recruiters.
But while the career fair is helpful to employers, it’s equally beneficial for the school’s students who get the opportunity to attend a career fair that’s already built into the school day, said Jennifer Bird, a school counselor who organizes the career fair, now in its ninth year.
“I think it’s just an excellent opportunity for students to get a jumpstart on finding a job, internship or apprenticeship,” she said.
Bird noted that because many students have a “senior option” next semester that allows them to use part of the day for an internship or apprenticeship, the fair provided a great opportunity to make connections.
Danielle Moore and Charles Thurston, seniors in the new biomedical program, both said the fair provided them a great way to meet many different companies and learn about more opportunities in their industry.
“It’s really neat,” Moore said. “We have an opportunity that not a lot of high school students have built right into the school day.”
Thurston agreed and added that prior to the career fair, the students all created resumes, did research on the companies coming and practiced how to talk with potential employers and what questions to ask.
Stan Jiminez, a trooper recruiter with Delaware State Police, said that preparation was obvious in all the students he talked to at the fair, which DSP visited for the first time this year due to the newly added homeland security and emergency preparedness program.
“I’m really impressed with this school,” he said. “It doesn’t seem forced. It seems like the students seriously want to talk and ask questions about potential jobs and careers.”
Jiminez pointed out that it’s important to meet with high school students and educate them about what it takes to be a state trooper early in the process. Many students graduate college and then prepare to apply to the state police without realizing that some of the decisions they made in college could disqualify them from the job.
The Cecil Soil Conservation District also attended the fair for the first time, looking to recruit students in natural resource management, engineering, biology and many other fields that relate to conservation, said Bri Puican, a technician with the organization.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for high school students to get a taste of what opportunities are available and what paths they can take,” she said, noting it also provides a good chance to get the organization’s name out there.
But while the fair had many new faces this year, Paige Yedinak, a senior cosmetology student, was experiencing the event for the second time around. Because of the way the cosmetology program is structured, these students also get to attend the fair as juniors and last year Yedinak landed an internship with Hair Cuttery.
The second time around, Yedinak said she felt much more comfortable talking to employers and was much more prepared.
“We’re very lucky that our school offers this,” she said.
Stan Jiminez, trooper recruiter at Delaware State Police, talks to students at the tech school job fair.
Kathy Archer, staff development coordinator with Sava Senior Care, talks to students at the tech school job fair.
Charles Hayes, district manager at Cecil Soil Conservation District, talks to a student at the tech school career fair.