10th annual FCTS career expo draws 48 businesses

  • Seniors at Franklin County Technical School participated in the 10th annual career expo at the high school on Tuesday. They had the chance to speak with 48 businesses throughout the event. Contributed Photo

  • More than 48 businesses throughout Franklin County and elsewhere came to Franklin County Technical School to speak with students about potential positions open at their companies and to answer a variety of questions from the students at the career expo on Tuesday. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/6/2018 3:18:04 PM

MONTAGUE — Students didn’t just learn about how to land a job on Tuesday at the Franklin County Technical School career expo, they learned how to network and chat up a potential employer.

“This isn’t a job fair,” said Raye Young, Co-op and business teacher at Franklin County Technical School. “It’s a career exploration event. Seniors ask about interviews, skills they would need, education needed or on the job training — this is their first networking experience. They can practice general chit chat, and other skills in a safe space at the school.”

This year marks the 10th annual career expo at FCTS. Young said it’s an opportunity for the students to explore different career paths outside of the shop they chose as a major, or discover the ways their skills transfer to other positions. Not only has the event expanded, it has nearly doubled in size from 25 to 48 employers over the years.

The expo is a requirement of the school’s Cooperative Education Seminar course.

Participating seniors prepare a list of questions and interview representatives from participating companies, a swell as be interviewed for jobs.

Students were tasked with identifying companies that would be a good fit for them for a co-op job or job upon graduation. They tried to find employers who were also FCTS alumni.

Students are required to dress in business attire, and they practiced what they are taught in the Cooperative Education Seminar course, such as maintaining eye contact with an interviewer, giving a proper handshake and exercising punctuality.

Electrical student Tyler Trudeau said he found the event useful, even though he already has a co-op with Judd Wire. He said he walked around speaking with various employers outside of his trade.

“I spoke with people, not just from electrical, but in health, elevators, plastics — a wide range of employers,” Trudeau said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to find jobs, especially for people who don’t have a co-op yet. I would definitely recommend this event for people who don’t already have experience speaking with businesses and learning about other jobs out there.”

Chantel Bardsley said she doesn’t necessarily have to go into the same field as her shop to get a job out of high school.

“I realized I don’t need to go into the health industry, there are more options,” Bardsley said. “We can see what is available, these businesses are interested in us, and we can find out more about what we need to get a position.”

Automotive students Cole Littlewood and Javier Colon said they learned about the different ways they can use their technical skills at a variety of jobs.

“I learned about different fields and other jobs that may pay more,” Littlewood. “I learned more about my field, and even more about others.”

Colon added that he learned at one of the military tables, that there are options for positions to repair military equipment.

“Not only do they need people, but if they don't have mechanics, they don’t have working equipment,” Colon said.

Healthcare student Shannon Kurkulonis said she found out there are local opportunities, as well as ones further away.

“This allows us to get a jump on what I want to do, and an opportunity to know what I want to pursue in the healthcare industry, which preferably is mental health,” said Kurkulonis. 

Superintendent of schools, Rick Martin, was also present, walking around the gym and interacting with teachers and students. Martin said the event is fantastic.

“Students and employers alike are excited to be here, many have been repeat customers,” Martin said. “They’re dressed up, articulate and they’re full of questions. It’s great to have this.”

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