BUCKHANNON – Students at Fred W. Eberle Technical Center were given the opportunity to learn more about jobs they may want to pursue at their annual Career Fair on Friday. About 30 area businesses participated in the fair this year, offering information and even job applications to students interested in working for their companies.
Each vocational department invited local companies from within that field to attend, but all of the students made their way around campus in small groups to visit all the displays in effort to give them exposure to other areas they may also be interested in. Rachel Smarr said, “It’s important to let them know what all is available out there, because you never know what’s going to happen in the future.” She said FETC has formed unofficial partnerships with many of these businesses over the years and they will often call to see if the school has candidates they would recommend to fill open positions.
Automotive technology instructor, Tim Turner, said some of his students were surprised to learn that many of the vendors set up in other departments hire mechanics too. He said, “It’s nice because they get to see that there’s a lot of different jobs that are available out there, even beyond just the area that they are in. There’s a lot of crossover.” The kids were especially excited to check out the Elkins Auto booth, where Dave Harper and Nicole Hinkle brought along a new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon for display. Although they were set up in the automotive department, Harper explained that they have a variety of jobs available. He said, “In the dealership environment, everyone thinks of sales, but we have close to 60 employees and only eight or nine of them are in sales. We’ve got everything from accounting to marketing, service and parts advisors, service technicians, and we even have a full detail shop now. There’s a lot of different positions between our two dealerships.” Harper said they wanted to be present to let students know about opportunities in their area and answer questions such as what they can expect pay-wise and what type of career path their field could lead to. He was especially impressed with FETC’s students and stated, “The kids have been great. They’ve been really respectful and polite.”
Tia Reppert also had an eye-catching display to represent Bear Contracting that was complete with tons of promotional gifts, including free ear buds. She said this was her first year attending the career fair and she was very impressed with FETC’s facility and all they have to offer their students. Reppert stated, “I think the kids have all been really interested. Even if this isn’t the program that they’re in, they still came over to talk and get information.” She added, “Our main office is in Clarksburg, but we have a variety of jobs available all over West Virginia.”
David Cunningham is a junior in the electrical program at FETC. He said, “I learned more about a couple jobs I’m interested in today.” Cunningham is considering going on to attend the Electric Utility Technology program at Pierpont Community and Technical College to become a lineman for First Energy.
Overall, the Career Fair was a huge success with great student and community involvement. Fred W. Eberle Technical Center was very grateful for the participation of the following businesses and vendors: Crestview Manor, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hospice, WV Community Care, Holbrook On the Hill, United Hospital Center, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, March-Westin Company, Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal Company, Weyerhauser, Woody Forest Products, Lowe’s, Tall Trees and Land, Bear Contracting, King’s Electric, Pierpont Community and Technical College, First Energy, The Oil Spot, Performance Chevrolet, Elkins Auto, Doss Enterprises, Atlas, Ridgeline Coatings, Iron Workers Union, Arch Coal, and Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Tuscan Sun Spa, Smart Styles, Army National Guard, Tygart Valley Regional Jail, and A. F. Wendling’s Food Service