College fair helps students plan future

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A representative from Auburn University talks to high school seniors at the College and Career Fair at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center on Wednesday.

More than 75 colleges and businesses and 514 students filled the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center on Wednesday for LeCroy Career Tech Center’s annual College and Career Fair.

Seniors from all six high schools in Chilton County were invited to attend the fair and talk to representatives of colleges, universities, businesses and branches of the United States Military.

The fair had to be moved from Clanton First United Methodist Church to the CPAC for more space, LeCroy Director Tommy Glasscock said.

“It’s grown every year,” Glasscock said. “Pretty much all branches of service are here.”

According to Glasscock, apprenticeship programs at companies are popular now, as well as an increase in students joining the workforce first and seeking higher education later, or combining the two.

Chris Rossi, director of human resources at Boatright in Clanton, said about 15 students expressed strong interest in applying for a job with the railroad crosstie plant after graduation in May.

“I hope to hire some out of this graduating class,” Rossi said. “You’re starting with a fresh slate. It allows us to train people the way we want them to be.”

State Rep. Kurt Wallace attended the fair and said it offered students a chance to make decisions and explore college and career options in one place.

“I’m just proud we have a facility here this nice to host this,” Wallace said. “This is just a great opportunity for these kids. They feed off each other’s energy, and there’s a lot of energy in this room right now.”

Makenzie Ray, a senior at Jemison High School, said she appreciated the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a representative from UAB, where she plans to attend college, and to ask questions about the University of Alabama and other schools.