CHENANGO BRIDGE (WBNG) — Heavy machinery was humming along Wednesday morning at the Broome County Highway Department facility near Chenango Bridge. One would think a massive project was underway, instead all the activity was for a career fair.
The eighth annual Construction and Technology Career Fair had more than 600 students from 26 school districts across Broome and Tioga Counties in attendance. This event is organized by the Broome-Tioga BOCES and all of the organizations that have employees attend.
“These professionals are gathering to be able to impart their wisdom and experience to students,” said NYSDOT District 9 Public Information Officer Dave Hamburg.
All of the students who attended were able to experience so many unique job opportunities and experiences. One of the most unique parts of this career fair is that students got hands-on, supervised experiences with everything from heavy equipment operation to welding to environmental engineering tools. To go off of that, there was something else imparted to the students, interview knowledge.
“I was talking to a couple of my colleagues, they were saying they were prepping their kids by saying ‘Welcome to interview Day One’. Make sure you leave an impression with these employers,” said Matt Sheehan, Broome Tioga BOCES Vice Principal of Career and Technical Excellence.
Whether they were truly considering a field on display at the career fair or not, students got the exposure needed to make that tough decision.
“I mean, like, I’m really big on technology as well. So, there’s a lot of it here obviously. There’s a lot to learn and there’s definitely a lot to experience,” said Sydney High School junior Zane MacRabie.
Employers at the event even got more than just potential hires from this unique experience.
“That’s the exact reason why I’m personally here. It’s to give back to the students that are, ‘Am I interested?’ and ‘What do I need to do to make it happen?’,” said Tim O’Connor from Keystone Associates.
Having the knowledge that if you have a goal or job aspiration as a high school student and that you can turn to mentors such as O’Connor can make all the difference in the path to a successful and happy career.