Expo expands horizons


By Paule Simone Brown

Contributing writer

A total of 850 high school students participated in the Career Expo of Champaign County morning session to explore their career options and potential job opportunities.

Juniors and seniors from Graham Local Schools, Mechanicsburg Schools, West Liberty-Salem Schools, Urbana City Schools, Triad High School, Ohio Hi-Point JVS, Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center and Mac-A-Cheek Learning Center attended the event on Wednesday at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.

On a 15-minute rotation, students visited different employers to gain a better understanding of businesses and look for internships or jobs.

More than 55 organizations participated, and most had activities where students could simulate what it would be like to work at their company as well as explore that profession. Some of the industries the students explored were manufacturing, health care, human services, financial services, real estate, agriculture, education, construction, public safety, heating and cooling and the military.

Graham High School Principal Bill Overla said: “The significance to the high school today is it is very important for our county to bring all of our employers in the region together. Additionally, it shows our kids what opportunities are available to them after they graduate. No matter if they got jobs today or not, they know more about our region, what we are trying to do here, and employers had the opportunity to meet our students.”

Christina Flowers, Champaign County’s Business School Liaison and the lead coordinator of the event, said: “Today, I spoke with a couple of kids who had changed their career path and several who told me there were businesses here they were unaware of.”

Ashley Cook, Manufacturing Council Liaison for Champaign County, explained, “… this is exactly what we wanted the students to do and that was to explore their interests and learn about our employers in Champaign County.”

Cook added: “It was a such a success because our county has so much to offer and the students opened their eyes to possibilities. We are happy with the outcome of the Career Expo.”

“We are happy with the response from students. We look forward to offering our community the opportunity to come together for such a worthwhile event again,” said Flowers.

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