Niles High School hosts annual College, Career Day

Published 11:23 am Friday, April 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NILES — The Niles High School gymnasium was bustling Thursday with students eager to learn more about career and collegiate opportunities.

Niles High School hosted its annual College and Career Day Thursday for students to explore post-graduation career and academic opportunities. Students networked with 55 business volunteers representing healthcare organizations, manufacturing companies, banking institutions, universities, colleges, trade schools and the military. The event, organized by Niles Career Technical Center Director Carrie George, featured breakout sessions with industry professionals, a signing event for students entering trade professions and Student Success Agency founder EJ Carrion as a keynote speaker.

“We’ve received very positive feedback,” said Principal Michelle Asmus. “Students love to explore all of their options whether that’s college, a skilled trade or the military. … We are very fortunate that (George) is our Career and Technical Education Director. She has maintained community partners for years and years and truly, we have more requests than we’re able to fulfill.”

For the businesses and organizations on hand, the career fair was an opportunity they could not pass up.

“We’re a family-oriented company and we want to make sure that we reach out to as many individuals as we can to let them know that there’s different avenues for them to follow after they graduate from high school,” said Alro Steel Corporate Recruiter Patryk Biel. “There’s many different ways that they can make a living and we want to make sure that we believe that Alro has a good foundation and it’s a good company to work for. We would definitely want to let them know more about this.”

“We really love getting out into the community and talking to kids in high school who may not know what they want to do and remind them that manufacturing is a really great possibility,” said Lyons Industries HR Recruiter Jenna VanderVelden. “For us, one of the great things here is that we don’t require any kind of previous knowledge or expertise in what we do. We’re willing to train anybody who has a good attitude, is willing to learn and shows up to work.”

According to Asmus, the College and Career Day looks different every year because the school takes student feedback and applies it to next year’s event. She said Carrion’s keynote speech was highly thought of by students.

“(George) takes the kids’ feedback every year and tweaks it,” she said. So this year, it looks totally different. We had a keynote speaker who the kids are thrilled to hear about. He has lots of energy and his message is about committing to making yourself marketable in an ever-changing workforce.”