Stark County Schools joined with businesses all over the area to match the needs in the labor force with the skills of nearly 2,000 senior high school students.
The inaugural Greater Stark County Career Expo took place throughout Stark County Schools from April 20-May 3. Various schools hosted employers who are looking for skilled employees. Each Career Tech lead district in the county hosted a category of business based on the Career Tech programs offered.
Alliance City Schools hosted employers from the Agriculture and Natural Resources on Wednesday, May 2. About 100 Career/Tech seniors who study Agriculture and Natural Resources had the opportunity to meet employers, offer their resumes and even apply for a job. They also received feedback on their resume and interviewing skills that will help them get a job in the future.
Middle School students and high school students who were interested in attending also walked through the Career Expo.
Businesses such as Sunpro Services had booths set up in the gym and were ready talk to students about jobs that are available now and in the near future.
With a location in North Canton, Sunpro services specializes in emergency remediation such as train derailments, oil or gas spills, hazardous materials transport and much more.
Peter Eliades, Manager of Operations for Sunpro said the company is attending the Career Expo as part of their ten year company plan to invest in future employees who can make a career of their first job out of high school.
He hoped to meet students who are ready to work and says there are “unlimited opportunities” with the company.
“We are looking to get high school kids who have a good work ethic who are looking for an opportunity. In a few years they can be making some really good money if they are hard working,” he said.
H P Products in Louisville specializes in manufacturing tubular products and residential central vacuums.
Jason Simon, a Relay Manager at HP Products started at the company years ago in an entry level position and worked his way up. He talked to students about the potential for them at the company and said there are at least 20 job openings currently at the company that high school graduates could apply for and start work within the next few weeks.
“We can work around graduation and all of that. Within a few weeks they could be working,” he said.
Students filtered in and out of the Career Expo all morning as they were bussed in from different schools throughout the county.
Bryan Hollinger works for the Stark County Educational Service Center and led the organization of the Career Expo events.
He said the goal was to connect industry need with employee skills Stark County students possess.
“We organized this with businesses who wanted to be here based on their needs and the students that we have,” he said.
Hollinger expects the event to continue after a successful first year in which many students walked away with interviews scheduled for full time work after graduation or summer work to gain experience.
The process of dressing up, preparing a resume and talking to potential employers was a good opportunity for students to learn soft job skills.
Some Alliance Middle School students were also brought in to the Expo at the High School.
Students from Alliance Career/Tech programs other than Agriculture and Gas and Oil had the opportunity to visit the Career Expo in their respective fields at other Career/Tech schools.
The Career Expo will take place through May 3. Canton High School hosted the Engineering and Business employers and students, Massillon High School hosted the Health Care businesses, RG Drage Career and Technical Center hosted the Trade and Industry businesses, Glenoak High School hosted the Media productions and IT businesses, and Canton McKinley High School hosted Human Services and Hospitality businesses.
Assistant Superintendent Rob Gress greets Alliance Middle School students at the Career Expo and explains to them how job fairs work before they visit the booths and tables themselves.