WHEATLAND – The seventh annual career fair organized by Wheatland Rural Electric Association was held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Wheatland High School Oct. 5.
There were 36 tables set up for organizations and businesses to provide information about the many professions that students and displaced or unemployed adults may want to choose as a viable employment option.
“This is a wonderful thing for students,” said Wheatland High School principal Josh Sandlian. “We have all the schools from Platte here participating including Wheatland, Peak, Guernsey, Chugwater and Glendo as well as Lingle-Ft. Laramie, a from Goshen County. Southeast was also scheduled to show up, but we haven’t seen them yet.”
In addition to businesses that were recruiting, colleges such as Western Nebraska Community College, Laramie Community College, Sheridan College, Eastern Wyoming College and WyoTech were also on hand to not only help with employment options but also educational path options.
“This is a great thing for kids and also adults,” said Al Teel, Member Service Manager and function organizer from REA. “I saw some former employees from Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy that has just recently closed who were maybe seeking out a new profession.”
According to Teel there were 339 students and 10 adult chaperones who were in attendance. This number was up from last year’s career fair. Along with the over 70 people who worked for the organizations and businesses, it was a good turnout.
“We provided the vendors with sub sandwiches which were served in the upper balcony of the gym,” Teel said. “The Subs came from Safeway, water, pop and cookies came from Thrifty Foods and doughnuts came from Tasty Treats. We paid for half of the lunch and Wheatland High School paid for the other half.”
FFA students from the high school helped in the setup of the vendor tables while the afternoon PE kids helped take down and load tables as well as doing the cleanup from the activity.
An event such as this takes a lot of planning and combined volunteers and cooperation with the high school, Teel said.
“The high school didn’t have enough tables, so we got some from Bob Glasser who owns the 10th Street Social Club here in town,” Teel said.
Students ranged from freshmen to seniors and according to Teel, he felt as if young students could benefit as much as the older students.
“Letting the younger kids be a part is a good thing for them to see what’s out there,” Teel said. “Hopefully they can see these options, think about it during high school years and by the time they graduate, they can nail it.”
Professionals were not only on hand to provide information about their organizations, but also brought some tools of their trade and had giveaways for the students to take with them. If there were people interested in any of the job possibilities from each vendor, there were informational cards that could be filled out and after the career fair there would be follow up phone calls and letters sent out.
“It was amazing,” said Wheatland High School student Desirae Iacovetto. “Each grade has to do it, and we actually need bags to hold all the things that the businesses give us. REA gave us a little windmill which was super cute.”
Students who were participating got a chance to see actual professionals in real job situations from some of the demonstrations that were given.
“I really loved the correction officers,” said student Jazlynne Gonzales. “They really explained things well to me. When I look for a career I either want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon or a travel photographer.”