Local high school students explore, network at trades career fair

A trades career fair was hosted at Shakamak Jr. – Sr. High School on Wednesday. Students from across Greene and Clay counties got to participate.

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 5:52 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2020 10:03 AM

JASONVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) -- The need for workers in building and construction careers continues to grow.

That’s why educators are working to let students know about options for after high school.

Kenna Slough is the agriculture science and business teacher at Shakamak Junior-Senior High School.

She helped organize a career fair for jobs in trades on Wednesday.

The event was held at Shakamak Jr. – Sr. High School. Shakamak students participated, as well as, students from across Greene and Clay counties.

“This country was founded on skilled labor, and we’re lacking that,” Slough told News 10.

11 trades from the Wabash Valley Building and Construction Trades Council were at the event.

Slough told News 10 the career fair is just as valuable for students as employers.

Shakamak junior Emme Smith said this experience shows students a variety of job opportunities for after graduation.

"A lot of us are told that college is our only option, but it's really neat to see that it's not our only option. There's a lot of trades that anyone can go into,” Smith said. "Everyone is interested in something different, so it's nice to have a variety for everyone.”

Jason Smith represented Heat and Frost Insulators Local 18. He said now is the time for students to pursue trades careers.

“In the next 15 years, we're going to have the most amount of work in the state of Indiana in another 15 years, so it's growing,” Smith said. “There is a demand for apprenticeships and we're always retiring members. We're always looking for the younger members to come in.”

Smith said a student can't go wrong with any of the trades.

"They can make a living. Have no student debt. They can have a good apprenticeship and retire with dignity," Smith said. 

That’s why Slough hosted this event.

"I want to make sure my students are going to have a good living, and they're going to go out there, get a career that they're going to be successful in and this is one of those careers,” Slough said.

For some high school students, today’s event was an opportunity to explore careers. For seniors, they could connect with employers to learn more about beginning an apprenticeship after graduation. 

Slough told News 10 she hopes to extend this opportunity to the community in the future.

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