Career fair displays local trade opportunities

Park hosts job fair


Abby Meisler

Students talk to representatives of a company at a career stand. The career fair took place during lunch May 11.

Johanna Kaplan and Abby Meisler

To inspire students seeking jobs in trade, Park held a job fair featuring a variety of local companies. Justin Smith, technical assistant at The Toro Company, said the purpose of the event was to encourage teens to explore all kinds of future occupations. 

“What we’re here (for) is we’re showcasing local businesses to kids that are ready to get out into the world and have a new experience,” Smith said.

Career and college coordinator Kara Mueller said the fair was a labor of love for faculty who participated. 

“CTE (Career and Technical Education) supports so many hands-on learning opportunities,” Mueller said. “They come in to work with our teachers and give us ideas of what (the) industry needs today. We change our curriculum based off of it, we create experiences. So the advisory board, myself and Mr. Miller have put this together.”

According to junior Luke Tomback, being in the epicenter of so many job opportunities was exciting. 

“There’s a lot of trades telling me (the) things that they do, giving me chances to try out what they do and trying to convince me to join their companies,” Tomback said.

According to Mueller, it’s crucial for students to be informed on a variety of options for life after high school — not just college.  

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Mueller said. “They can be exposed to a lot of different colleges, but they have not been exposed to different technical careers.”

Tomback said high schools take an all-too-linear approach in their promotion of post-secondary opportunities, so the job fair was insightful for him. 

“The way school is taught these days, especially in classes like Park Connections, a lot of people feel pressure to go to college and there’s no other options,” Tomback said. “But this is a good way to tell people that there are other options, they can have a life that does not include college.” 

Smith said that he has had a positive experience working in trade and hopes others will find the same love for it. 

“High school is going to end, and a lot of kids will end up needing real jobs,” Smith said. “We’re a local company. We help local workers, and it’s a good company to work for. We care about the future, and we’re at the point where we need new blood coming in.”