By JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
WILLIAMSON - Eighth-graders from across the county visited the Williamson campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College for a hands-on look at career choices during the 2012 Mingo County Eighth-Grade Career Fair.
Among those who provided support for the event were SWVCTC, the West Virginia University Extension Service, Mingo County 4-H Mingo Career and Technical Center Pro-Start program, Mingo Extension Service and Food City.
The fair had representatives from 15 fields, including agriculture and restaurant management, graphic design, emergency medical services, truck driving, law enforcement and social work.
Local companies and organizations also had representatives at the fair to field questions from students, including: Appalchian First Response, the West Virginia Department of Tourism, Norfolk Southern and the FBI.
Mark Whitt, Director for the Mingo County 4-H, said over 300 students attended the event, which has been growing since started in 1995.
He explained that students chose four of the career choices offered at the fair and listened to speakers explain pay scales and requirements in each field.
“At that first fair, I conducted a poll, and 70 percent of those eighth-graders thought they could not achieve a college degree,” Whitt said. “After attending the career fair, less than 18 percent thought they could not get a degree.”