By Emanuel Pena
With an eye to the future, the Fort Smith School District hosted the iCan Career Fair for students from Chaffin, Darby, Kimmons and Ramsey junior highs on Nov. 7, 2017. The fair boasted employees from area businesses who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with students and inform them on potential career pathways.
More than 60 future employers set up booths about their business at the Fort Smith Convention Center for the fair.
“The students are exposed to a variety of career options located in the Fort Smith area. We ask the students to consider these options as they begin their high school careers and choose learning opportunities that will help them gain the skills necessary to be employed in these career pathways,” said Stephanie Freeman, career development facilitator for Fort Smith Public Schools.
Although the ninth-graders have time before they will decide what they would like their career to be, Freeman said this expo can provide valuable information that influences choices.
“Even if they don’t think they’re getting anything out of it, they are,” she said.
Students recognized many of the businesses in attendance, including Channel 5 News, the Fort Smith Fire Department, Orr Auto Park and the Fort Smith Police Department. Other diverse job opportunities came from truck driving companies, realtors, bankers and health care workers. Staying open-minded about success, most students took time to visit each booth and listen to their hosts.
Mateo Martinez said truck driving might be the job for him, as they “make a lot of money.”
Another student, Coleman Hill, asked the Orr Auto Park salesman for his card, saying, “I want to be a car salesman.”
While no student had their future determined, the annual Career Expo helped to foster hope about the opportunities in Fort Smith for potential community leaders and hard-working individuals.