High schoolers learn about employment opportunities
Tianna Davis, a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School, wasn’t sure Wednesday morning that she wanted a summer job.
But by attending the Roaring Fork Young Professionals’ and Glenwood Sunset Rotary’s first student career fair later in the day, she got information on Valley View Hospital’s shadowing program and some leads on summer work.
“Now I see how many things I could do,” she said.
Around 50 organizations turned out for the event, with roughly half offering seasonal or full-time entry-level jobs for high schoolers. The rest provided career advice or helped connect students with programs and volunteer opportunities to further their ambitions.
“We want to advise kids on different industries and let them know what kind of jobs are available,” explained Young Professionals president Altai Chuluun. “The community has been very responsive.”
“It’s awesome for the kids to get that exposure,” said school resource officer Chris Dietrich. “When I was in school, I didn’t know what was out there.”
Although the event was open to students from around the area, Glenwood High students were the primary demographic. Most attendees seemed optimistic about their prospects.
“There’s always jobs in this town, even if it’s not exactly the one you want,” said senior Tyler Stoll.
Sophomore Connor Robbins agreed, though he wasn’t sure the career fair was the best place to find them.
“The community is so tight that you usually find out by friends telling friends,” he said.
Still, some effects of the recession are still lingering, as Freshman France Osorio observed.
“There’s a lot of competition,” he said. “I feel like positions are being taken up faster. It depends on whether you get lucky or not.”
As many new positions require a certificate or degree, several presenters reminded students of alternatives to a standard bachelor’s.
“Not everybody needs a four-year degree,” said Ray Limoges, a committee member for the Fast Forward scholarship program, which funds two-year degrees and certifications.
Colorado Mountain College was on hand to discuss its broad range of programs, from certificates to associate to bachelor’s degrees. The fire science and nursing programs garnered particular attention.
“It’s education for a job. From the classroom, you’re usually stepping into a position,” observed CMC’s Amy Connerton.
In the end, the event was deemed a success.
“We had a good turnout from both businesses and students, and we hope to see it grow in the future,” said Sunset Rotary president Mark Gould Jr.
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Officer Haley Walker sat beside her stepmother in a windowless interrogation room just before starting the overnight shift on Thursday evening.