More than 400 students from area high schools and middle schools attended a Career Fair on Wednesday afternoon at Barton Community College. There were classroom and lab presentations on fields ranging from agriculture to medical to welding.
About 150 of the students — mostly eighth graders and high school sophomores — came early to tour the campus and eat pizza, said Elaine Simmons, dean of Workforce Training & Community Education. This was the second year for Barton to host the Career Fair, which highlights the college’s Career Technical Education courses. Other featured careers were business, early childhood, natural gas, automotive, criminal justice and information technology. Featured medical fields were Emergency Medical Services, Medical Assistant, Medical Lab Technician and nursing.
At a breakout session, “Essential Skills in the Workplace,” students heard about self-management, interpersonal skills, applied skills and workforce skills.
“We’re going to make them model employees,” said Dr. Vic Martin, coordinator of Barton’s agriculture program. Many essential skills, sometimes called soft skills, go beyond the technical knowledge of a chosen field. “The one employers want most is a work ethic,” Martin said.
Presenters included instructors and BCC students who could talk about what to expect when majoring in their fields. They talked about the types of jobs available, what the work is like and what kids should study now if they plan to continue their education in a given area.