New pro­grams bring more faces to CCST job fair

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

ELK­TON

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Stan Jiminez, trooper re­cruiter at Delaware State Po­lice, talks to stu­dents at the tech school job fair.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Kathy Archer, staff de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor with Sava Se­nior Care, talks to stu­dents at the tech school job fair.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Charles Hayes, district man­ager at Ce­cil Soil Con­ser­va­tion District, talks to a stu­dent at the tech school ca­reer fair.

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