Warrenton High School will host a large-scale jobs exposition in September focused on careers in skilled trades, military, and high school-ready professions, with youth throughout the region invited …
Warrenton High School will host a large-scale jobs exposition in September focused on careers in skilled trades, military, and high school-ready professions, with youth throughout the region invited to attend.
The career expo is scheduled for Sept. 15 from 5:30-8 p.m. Organizers at the high school say they intend for attendees to walk away with a clear idea of what each business does and concrete steps to pursue any of the careers represented. Each participating employer is being told to answer a list of questions about what they do, pay range, and training requirements.
“So students know they’ll be getting some substance. If they come here and walk around, they’ll be getting questions answered, like ‘How do I get into this career? Who do I call? Where do I go?’ ” Said Assistant Principal Dr. Ed Picone. “It’s more than just an idea of ‘That job sounds cool.’ We’re not trying to garner interest, we’re trying to get them a career.”
Although the career expo is being hosted at Warrenton High School, organizers said it will be advertised to students in the Wright City and Montgomery County school districts as well, and that anyone seeking a job in general could benefit from the information.
Ideally, all of the employers or trade representatives at the expo will be able to provide a hands-on demonstration of what they do, so that students can understand the range of career opportunities available to them, Picone said. A particular focus for the event is on students who won’t attend college and aren’t sure what their next step is after high school. It’s a student demographic that leaders of multiple school districts say hasn’t gotten enough focus for many years, and now they’re closing that gap.
“If you leave high school, regardless of what you choose, we should have laid out a path for success,” Picone said.
Local business and manufacturing representatives have also been pining for more skilled laborers. They see significant benefit in having a closer relationship with the schools.
“If they’ve made the decision that they don’t want to go to college, we want to give them the option of something that’s more than ‘I’m just going to scratch my way through life,’” said Jan Olearnick, executive director of the Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want to have something where they can have a career, they can make money that is higher than just a living wage.”
The Chamber is partnering with school officials and the Missouri Job Center to help organize the career expo and recruit participating employers. There were about 20 participants listed as of mid-August, with room for more, Olearnick said.
The most important qualification for business participants is that they need to be offering full-time careers, not just a part-time job, she added.
Businesses interested in having a presence at the expo should contact Olearnick by calling 636-456-2530. Military and labor union representatives should call Picone at 636-456-6902.
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