Area Schools Attend 5th Annual Explore-It Career Fair

BEATRICE – Over 450 students from 13 area schools had the opportunity to attend the 5th annual Explore-It Career Fair at Southeast Community College Tuesday morning. Students were able to talk to 35 different employers in fields that interested them and possibly discover something new. Work Force Coordinator for the Department of Labor Kari Janssen says the event helps promote jobs around our area instead of moving to a different city or even state.

“The purpose of the Explore-It Career Fair is to put the work force of tomorrow, so our students today that will be in these fields tomorrow, in touch with the employers in this area. So that if their education or their training or interest might take them out of this area or out of the state, to remember to come back. Because those industries and those careers that they would be interested in are right here in this area.”

In the past the career fair was open only to high school students but this year they opened it to 8th graders. Janssen says some people were apprehensive about them being too young but she was confident that they were already thinking about what they wanted to do.

“I do know there is talking to the students in the schools as young as 8th grade, 7th grade, and on some levels even the 6th grade. And I think by that point the students do know what industries they might be interested in, so it’s time to start honing in as to ‘I want to be a doctor.’ Well what type of doctor? There’s tons of different types of medical professions. Or ‘I want to be in hospitality.’ Look at all the different realms you can do with hospitality.”

Janssen says there are careers around our area she thinks students may not know are available.

“Trucking industries, you know that is a real big boom, and Crete Carrier and Gana trucking are here today. So not just being an over the road truck driver but there’s dispatchers, there’s accounting, there’s billing, there’s HR, that are all involved within that area. Culinary arts is one of those growing industries and they are represented here today. The fine arts. Nebraska Game and Parks. Medical, so just when people think medical in general, they might be doctors or nurses, but there are so many others from therapies to social workers and different positions within a hospital or nursing home facility.”

Janssen says the event was different for employers because they aren’t looking to hire people. They are just informing students on what makes their job special for the area and help students find something that interests them.