WILLIAMSON – On Friday, 8th grade students throughout Mingo County attended a career fair hosted by the West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Service at the Williamson campus of the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC) to learn more about different career options and pathways.
Eighth grade students throughout the county attended the fair. This year more than 150 students attended.
Mark Whitt, Associate Professor for the WVU Extension Service in Mingo County hosted the event. His Administrative Assistant Alice Ritz helped to organize the annual event.
The fair provided students with the opportunity to learn more about various career pathways. Students also learned more about how to prepare for a future career during high school. Several school counselors and representatives of Mingo County School also attended the fair. The schools that participated were Kermit, Lenore, Williamson, Burch, Gilbert, Matewan and ACA.
At the event, students were able to choose four different fields of interest. The students then listened to representatives from the fields of their choice to learn about the career. Students were also given the opportunity to ask questions.
Various organizations and companies attended the event. This year, there were more than 16 representatives. These included: Agriculture/Automotive, Craig Hart, Tug Valley and Hady Ford, Mingo Central; Carpentry/Welding, Harry Blakenship, Mingo Central; Education/Business, Thomas Jude, Tug Valley; Cosmetologist, Keisha Messer; Emergency Services, Joey Carey, Williamson Fire Dept.; FBI/Law Enforcement, Murray Streetman FBI Agent, Sgt. B. Wellman, W.Va. State Police; Graphic Design, Doug Martin, Mingo Central; Health Occupations, Debra Catron, Mingo Central; Attorney, Josh Ferrell and Nathan Brown; Manufacturing, Greta Curry, Unilin Flooring; News Media/Journalism, Shelby Steele, EKB and Kyle Lovern, Williamson Daily News; Optometrist, Dr. Shawn Sammons, Wilson Eye Care; Pro Start/Tourism, Jay Wade, Tug Valley and Daniel Sizemore, Mingo Central; Psychology/Social Worker, Mary Ann Testerman, Mingo Central and representatives from Logan-Mingo Mental Health; and Truck Driving, Chris Newsome, Lee Sartin Trucking.
Kyle Lovern, Managing Editor from the Williamson Daily News (Civitas Media) was in attendance to speak to students about a pursuing a career in journalism and writing. Lovern stated, “Many of the students are not sure what path they want to pursue. This career fair gives them some ideas and they get the chance to ask questions about certain occupations. Many of the kids were very interested and attentive.”
Several organizations sponsored this event. Sponsorship was provided by the Mingo County Commission, SWVCTC and the WVU Extension office.
The Pro Start class from Tug Valley High School prepared lunch for the presenters and those who participated in the event.
The WVU Extension Service provides community programs and services throughout West Virginia. A report is published by the WVU Extension Service for every county this year. The 2016 WVU Extension report for Mingo County states, “West Virginia University Extension works to provide ‘solutions in your community’ through key program areas including agriculture, environment and natural resources, 4-H youth development, food and nutrition, health and wellness, financial planning and home gardening. These research based programs and services are available to all residents of Mingo County thanks to the tremendous support of our community members, local organizations, volunteers and local partners: the Board of Education and County Commission.”
To learn more about the WVU Extension Service visit http://ext.wvu.edu/.