Employers look for prospective hires at Southside
Businesses appreciate what they find in Career & Technical Education students – valuable intangibles such as drive, maturity, and engagement with industry. That is why they sign up for the fall employment fair at Southside Technical Center.
“We can go into high schools all day long, but this is a niche or specialty for us. These are the kids that have expressed some kind of interest, so this is targeted,” said April Spellman, a recruiter for Gray, which deals in engineering, architecture, and construction.
Gray and more than a dozen other companies sent representatives to Southside’s late-September job fair. Melinda Merrick, a recruiter for Baptist Health, agreed that CTE students bring more to the table as applicants – especially those who take medical classes like the nurse aide course at Southside. “They have clinical experience, have dealt with patients, and already know some of the pluses and minuses of the job,” she said.
Kage Baker, a junior at Henry Clay High School, knows some pluses of becoming a certified electrician – namely, that demand is high and so are the prospects for advancement. He might sign up for a co-op slot with electrical contractor Amteck next year, which could lead to an apprenticeship and eventual full-time employment. “CTE gives you a step up and prepares you for life after high school,” Kage said. “It also looks great on a resume.”
Qasem Hamad, a senior at Tates Creek, is weighing the quick-start route with Amteck or Arrow Electric. “You’re learning hands-on and getting what you need,” he said of the on-the-job training. “As long as you do your work and stay on the right path, you’ll be successful.”