Remember the Blue Collar Career Fair? Another Texas town wrote in to share their version of introducing rural kids to high-paying careers available in small towns. –Becky
By Jimi Coplen, Knox County Visioning Group, Benjamin, Texas
We also host a Career Day for area high school students. Much like Tony from San Saba’s Blue Collar Day, we feature a lot of careers that can be done in rural communities but pay big bucks. But we also feature things such as Marine Biology – which can’t be done any where close to here! Turns out, the kids were totally enamored by this career! It opened their eyes to new possibilities.
Our day brings in about 30 different speakers from 20 different career fields. The kids get to pick and choose what they want to hear about. These professionals describe what they do every day and tell them how they got into their position. Whether it was college courses or manual labor, they explain the process. Kids get a first hand idea of what the career entails. After a morning of listening to speakers, they attend a college fair and find out exactly how to pursue the things they just heard about that morning.
Our program won state and national awards last year. It is a great program. We do it regionally, focusing on small schools that may not get as many opportunities to hear such quality speakers. It is a tough event to pull together, but the benefits are well worth the efforts.
The hands-on element is something I’ve tried to have both years, and it has fallen through. Different groups have offered to bring in the helicopter – like DPS or Marines, but it hasn’t worked out. Still trying!! I would love for my mechanic to bring an engine and let the kids “tinker” with it. The physical therapist did bring some items the kids got to try out.
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