Employers, students meet at career fair


Diana Zimmerman

Shelley Olsen's third grade class listened to members of the American Radio Relay League talk about their work at a career fair last week at Wahkiakum High School.

More than 25 employers met with students from Wahkiakum and Naselle School Districts in the Wahkiakum High School gym from 1-3 p.m. for a Career Fair on Wednesday. The employers came from Cathlamet, Longview/Kelso and other places east of here.

"The event was a huge success," Wahkiakum High School Principal Stephanie Leitz said. "Students were engaged and interested."

"There was a wide variety of career paths represented," Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce Director Paige Lake said. "Many of the employers asked to be invited back next year."

According to Julie Miller, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at WorkSource, the career fair gave students an opportunity to practice informational interviews.

Miller also had a head count: 92 high school students, 57 middle school students, and 40 elementary students participated in the career fair.

"It's fun to go around and see all the different booths and what everyone has to offer," Sophomore Seth Kuljis said. "I heard different ideas and opinions and got career advice.

Kuljis wants to be a linguist. He spoke with the Army recruiter about opportunities in the military.

Senior Rayanna Carlon hopes to be a veterinarian, but she enjoyed hearing about other possibilities for employment.

"I like it," she said. "I got more information about jobs. I hope they do it next year for the other kids."

Diana Zimmerman

An employee from Kaiser Permanente talks to a student about career options.

Earlier in the day, Partners in Careers and WorkSource employees spoke with middle school and high school students about soft skills and how to engage with employers. Later they met with juniors and seniors to work on their resumes and conduct mock interviews.

"They were really impressed with how prepared our kids were," Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce Director Paige Lake said. "They wanted to take a couple back to the office to help teach others how it's done."

"It's been a great collaborative effort between WorkSource, WorkForce, the school district, Marine Resource Committee and the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce," Alyssa Joyner of WorkForce said.

"A huge thank you goes to Alyssa Joyner and her colleagues from Workforce and Partners in Careers for leading the project and Paige Lake and Carrie Backman for all the work they did," Stephanie Leitz said. "I appreciate all the people that took the time to come. It was an excellent example of the power of collaboration!"


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