Job fair: You can do that here

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Above, Matt Moore and David Anderson of Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations share information on the products assembled at the local facility.

Above, Matt Moore and David Anderson of Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations share information on the products assembled at the local facility.

More than 550 juniors and seniors from all high schools in Pike County participated in the inaugural College and Career Fair Day at the Troy Recreation Center Tuesday. College and Career Fair Day was sponsored by the Pike County Extension Office and the Troy-Pike Center for Technology.

Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator, said 16 vendors participated in the daylong event that was designed to make students more aware of the job and career opportunities available to them in Pike County.

Participating vendors were Troy Regional Medical Center, CGI, The Messenger, Charles Henderson Health Center, Troy University Admissions, First National Bank, Lockheed Martin, Troy Cable, Army National Guard, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Pike County Chamber of Commerce, Walmart DC, Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Extension and Emergency Management Agency.

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“What we heard from the students all day was that they didn’t know they could ‘do that’ in Pike County,” Lyons said. “And that’s what we were hoping they would take away from College and Career Fair Day. We wanted to expose the students to different industries, businesses and agencies that are in operation in Pike County so they might consider staying local.”

Lyons said many students expressed surprised that there are a lot of good job opportunities in Pike County.

“The students learned what jobs are available in the county, how these jobs might be obtained and the skill level needed for the different jobs,” he said.

“Pike County offers a variety of jobs that make it possible to make a good living and raise a family right here at home. That was the message we wanted the high school juniors and seniors to get.”

Keon Smith, a Pike County High School senior, said the fair made him aware of an unexpected opportunity.

“I’m thinking about going into the military, and I learned more about the National Guard and what it offers,” Smith said. “I was also interested in Walmart and how you can be in the military and work for them.”

After visiting the TRMC booth, Acacia James and Hazel Smith of PCHS said their decisions to go into some area of heath care were reinforced.

Xavier Burden of Goshen High School said he was surprised that there are so many job opportunities in Pike County.

“I’m thinking about the military but now I know that I can find a good job around here,” he said. “That’s good to know, especially if you want to stay home.”

Gina Maxwell, career coach at Troy-Pike Center for Technology, said the first College and Career Fair Day was a huge success and plans are to make it an annual event.

“The students were attentive and interested and we appreciate their cooperation,” she said. “We thank all of those who took the time to let students know about the industries and the jobs available. And, all of the volunteers.”

Lyons expressed appreciation to Dan Smith, Troy Parks and Recreation director, and his staff for preparing the site for the career day fair and to SFC Raymond Ledford and the Army National Guard for providing lunch for the vendors and volunteers.