LCTC preparing for college and career fair

Published 3:02 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

One of the most anticipated events each year for students across Chilton County is returning on Sept. 21 — the Chilton County College & Career Fair. The annual event invites Chilton County upperclassmen students out to learn more about businesses, colleges and other post-high school possibilities to help them plan their future after schooling. The fair will be from 8 a.m.-noon on Sept. 21 at Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton Campus.

LCTC career coach Wendy Fortner is going into her fifth year assisting with the fair for the students in the county. Fortner took over the fair duties once she arrived at LCTC, and after former career coach and fair founder Kim Benson moved on to become the school counselor at Verbena High School.

“In my first year I just picked it up and kept going with it,” Fortner said. “I think it has gotten a little bit bigger each year. I think word of mouth has spread through the community and schools, and they are expecting it here in Chilton County.”

Last year, there were around 60 tables set up at the fair. This year, Fortner has 75 tables that have already been reserved for the fair including 40 businesses, 30 colleges and the rest for military and other recruiters. She said the fair tries to have something that piques the interest of all the students who visit by covering every aspect of post-high school careers.

The University of West Georgia and Mississippi State University are some of the out-of-state colleges that will be attending the fair, and the rest of the colleges are in-state from Alabama.

The relationships that the career coaches at LCTC build with the businesses and colleges at the fair are strong. Some businesses and colleges visit students on other occasions outside of the fair in a more intimate setting to give out more information.

Fortner added that seeing the students after high school graduation following their dreams whether it is college, the workforce or military is the most rewarding part of putting on the career and college fair each year.

Students in Chilton County can be on the lookout for LCTC career coaches Fortner and Sjohna Hughes in their respective schools for more information on the fair in the coming weeks. Fortner will be at Maplesville High School on Sept. 4, Jemison High School on Sept. 5 and Thorsby High School on Sept. 6. Hughes will visit the remaining schools in mid-September. When the career coaches visit the schools, students can ask about specific businesses and colleges attending the fair or any other questions they may have regarding the fair.

Fortner said the fair is currently full, but there is a waiting list for businesses or colleges to get a table. If a business or college would like to be added to the waiting list, they can reach out to Fortner at