Chilton County upperclassmen explore options at career fair

Published 10:08 am Monday, April 22, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Chilton County School District held its annual Spring Career Fair on April 18 at Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton Campus to help guide juniors and seniors in the county down their respective career paths.

The annual career fair brought in over 50 businesses from different fields like construction, medical, trade and more under one roof for students to access information, and to see what opportunities are out there for them outside of a college degree. Junior and senior students from all six high schools in Chilton County participated in the event.

“It is very important for us because kids need options, they need to know options and they need to know what their opportunities are,” Michelle McRae, Chilton County Schools Career Coach, said. “Some of the kids are not wanting to go to college and school is not their thing. Some of these kids need to be able to talk to some people that have businesses so they can know those opportunities where they do not have to have a degree, know what their possible pay rate would be and how they can move up in that field.”

McRae said seeing the students get excited about potentially finding their career path and being excited to join the workforce is one of the things that is the most rewarding from the event each year for her.

The event was split up with three schools coming in the morning and three in the afternoon to give everyone a chance to meet with the businesses they desire. Darrell Barlow, an ACRI Outreach Coordinator with Go Build Alabama, spoke with a large group of Verbena High School students in the afternoon session about the possibilities with his company for them post-graduation. Barlow visits with students across Alabama from as young as kindergarteners to near high school graduates, giving them information and options for post-high school careers.

“These events are very important because it gives the students an opportunity to start planning ahead, and I am always trying to empower them and encourage them to start thinking and planning proactively before graduating,” Barlow said. “I have been doing this for 10 years … We did not have these opportunities that that they do now, so take advantage of those and develop a skill set so you can use that to improve your life, and subsequently your family members lives, and giving back to your community and making an impact on the world.”

The next career fair in collaboration with LeCroy Career Technical Center is coming up in the fall for Chilton County upperclassmen to explore more options.