Sophomore Yuleyka Nunez said she already knows she wants to get a job in law enforcement after graduation, but Friday’s career fair at the trade center will still help her.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to take a look at the different occupations we can do in the future,” said Nunez, a student at the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy.
The academy is sponsoring the area’s first-ever regional career fair for area students on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Organizers are expecting more than 8,000 students from eight Georgia counties and two Tennessee counties to attend the fair.
“It is very important because there will be so many different career paths that students haven’t thought of,” said Carol Hatch, a Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) who has helped school counselor Robert Broughton organize the fair. “A lot of the students may not have thought about (the fact) they could be an underwater welder or that they could be an oil (worker).”
The idea for the fair was hatched months ago, and more than 300 vendors have signed up to attend. They include Turner Construction (the world’s largest construction company), Volkswagen, several floorcovering companies, GE Corp., Tandus Flooring and the Georgia Cattleman Association.
There will also be representatives from more than 80 colleges including the University of Georgia, Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science and the University of Kentucky. The FBI, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), Secret Service and Georgia Department of Natural Resources are among the many government agencies expected to send representatives.
There will also be several speakers, including state Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black, Georgia Department of Defense Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Stephanie Hill, executive director of Women in Technology.
Whitfield County Schools spokesman Eric Beavers said the fair will support Georgia’s current focus on the importance of career, technical and agricultural education along with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.
“Guests will learn about the 17 potential career pathways available to Georgia students,” Beavers said.
The Navy band “Freedom” will perform at 9:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. that day. Four helicopters will also be on site, including a Blackhawk and Life Flight and helicopters from the state of Georgia SWAT team and Middle Georgia University.
Career Academy sophomore Mayvit Sandoval said she and Nunez will be among several student volunteers who will direct visiting students to sites at the trade center. Sandoval plans to become an attorney and wants to one day defend cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, but she said she’ll use the fair to learn more about the steps she needs to take to one day get there.
“You have to take the baby steps,” she said.
State career pathways
• Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
• Audio/Video Technology and Communications
• Architecture and Construction
• Business, Management and Administration
• Education and Training
• Government and Public Administration
• Health Science
• Hospitality and Tourism
• Human Services
• Information Technology
• Marketing, Sales and Service
• Public Safety and Security
• Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
• Transportation, Distribution and Logistics