The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 19, 2013

Ashtabula County middle school students learn about local opportunities

HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — Approximately 900 middle school students from area school districts got a crash course on potential future career opportunities in the county Wednesday.

Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County hosted the Middle School Career Awareness Day at the Spire Institute to give local 7th grade students an introduction to various companies and opportunities available in Ashtabula County, said Executive Director Brian Anderson.

Anderson said the idea was to hopefully get students thinking about 10 to 15 years into the future and where they would like to be in terms of their career.

“At this age we don’t expect them to know what they want to do, but we are trying to make them aware,” he said. “We want them to be 7th graders and enjoy being 7th graders, but to start thinking about the future.”

Students from six local school districts as well as students from St. John School attended the event.

A number of local companies participated in the event including Ashtabula County Medical Center; Aqua Ohio; ASHTA Chemicals; A-Tech; CenturyLink; Chromaflo; Cristal; Elite Employment; Elster Perfection Corporation; Fargo Machine; Gabriel Performance Products; Grand River Rubber and Plastics; HDT Global; Infinity Resources; Iten Industries; Kent State University Ashtabula; Kraftmaid/Masco Cabinetry; Molded Fiber Glass; Northeast Ohio Regional Airport; Praxair; Presrite; Snodgrass; Third Dimension; and University Hospitals.

Companies handed out information sheets to students and talked with them about various opportunities available to them.

Larry Fargo, president of Fargo Machine, said the event was a fabulous idea.

“It’s great to see so many students,” he said. “Our industry needs skilled workers and this is our future here today. We need to get kids interested in this trade so we have a skilled workforce.”

Fargo said the event was a little overwhelming for students, but a few of them were interacting and asking questions.

“This is really fun,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of trade shows and they can be boring, but this is fun.”

Fargo said one thing that really impressed him was the number of students that said “thank you” when he gave them a flier.

Anderson said this is the first time Growth Partnership has hosted such an event, but hopes to do more in the future.

“We will learn as we go,” he said. “Hopefully we can get more companies involved in the future.”

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