Job fair helps students face pending career choices

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sophomore Randon Calderwood is interested in chemistry. Several other students at the Juneau School District’s Career Expo on Wednesday said they’re interested in science. And Forest Service Public Affairs Specialist Teresa Haugh said that with a work force composed of a large percentage of aging biologists, geologists, and other "ologists," the federal agency is a promising possibility for science-oriented students.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

The Career Expo brought the district’s high school students and professionals from about 150 different businesses and organizations together in the Juneau-Douglas High School gym.

Career “cluster” stations ranged from agriculture, food, natural resources and manufacturing, to information technology, to science, technology, engineering and math, to business management and marketing, sales and service.

Career and Technical Education Coordinator Carin Smolin said it was the third annual Career Expo, but the second year it’s been held on such a scale. She said the district would like to expand to the middle schools next year.

The goal, she said, is for kids to talk with professionals in the Juneau community representing a wide range of careers and occupations, for kids to think about the future and "connect with what job opportunities are here right in their hometown.”

"It’s important kids know there are so many opportunities,” she said.

Calderwood, who said besides chemistry, he’s interested in geology, rocks and metals, said he found out about what kinds of opportunities are available at the Greens Creek Mine.

Judy Andree, at the expo for the League of Women Voters, said more than 20 junior and senior girls signed up for a Saturday workshop about running for office.

Wheat said at the Juneau Police Department’s table, he learned about some of the details of law enforcement, as well as benefits and health insurance.

Haugh, the public affairs specialist for the Forest Service, said part of her interest in participating has to do with the Forest Service’s aging workforce.

"Young people are the future in managing public resources,” she said. "If young people have an appreciation for natural resources, they’ll be better managers of it one day.”

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