Dowagiac High School to host career fair, public invited

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 25, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Local students and community members have an opportunity to explore new career paths next week.

Dowagiac Union High School is set to host its first career fair next Wednesday, March 30, in the high school gymnasium. DUHS juniors and seniors will be able to explore career options with leaders of local businesses and universities from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., while underclassmen and members of the public can attend from 5 to 8 p.m.

According to organizer Mike Williams — who teaches at the high school and coordinates the school’s Work Based Learning program — this career fair is set apart by its inclusion of the public.

“We want the community and other school districts to come in here and take advantage of the opportunities we have,” Williams said. “It could be for former students, of other young adults that are looking for opportunities — maybe their career isn’t going their way. This is an opportunity where they can get a little taste of all that’s to offer in southwest Michigan.”

According to Williams, the career fair was originally scheduled for March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the plans for two years.

“We’re excited to get it going, to get our first one out of the way so we can learn from that for the future,” he said. “I continue to get people that are interested, and I think as the years go on, we will be able to build on that.”

Principals from the Dowagiac school district will be in attendance, as well as teachers with tables. Williams said the event is more than just a career fair, it is an opportunity for the school and community to get to know each other a little better in a more relaxed setting.

“We want the connection between the community and our school system to build and continue to get better,” Williams said. “There are opportunities, and we are working hard to try to figure out ways to promote career readiness for our students.”

Williams started the Work Based Learning program five years ago, and said he has made a number of connections with people in southwest Michigan and around the state, as well as connected with other career fair organizers to share contacts. Among those businesses, unions and schools listed as participating are:

  • South Bend JATC
  • UA Local 357 Plumbers/Pipefitters
  • Hannapel Homes
  • Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Lyons Industries
  • Lake Michigan College – various departments
  • Southwestern Michigan College – various departments
  • Local police and fire departments
  • LADD
  • Borgess Lee Hospital
  • Van Buren Cass District Health Department
  • One World Trade Center
  • Pokagon Band Department of Natural Resources
  • Twin City Beauty College
  • Four Winds Casino
  • Midwest Energy
  • Seven Generations Agriculture and Design
  • Honor Credit Union
  • MSU College of Agriculture
  • Armed services