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Career fair

Local students line up Tuesday to visit with U.S. Army Spc. Lester Plotner, right, and Sgt. First Class Matt Pettis at a career fair at the Career Center. The two answered questions about the Army National Guard.

Wyoming colleges love the Career Center.

“The Career Center for us is like a magnet school,” said Craig Satterlee from Northwest College in Powell. “They've always been successful in our program.”

Chuck Holloway from Sheridan College agreed. Career Center graduates make great college students, he said.

Recruiting followers

The Career Center sponsored its eighth annual Future Fair on Tuesday, hosting 52 colleges, businesses and branches of the armed services in an effort to recruit a few followers.

“It's a wonderful opportunity to see a whole lot of students,” Holloway said.

Some see the fair as an opportunity to explore their post-high school education. Others use it as a way to see what jobs will be out there once they graduate.

“College is too expensive unless you have a scholarship,” said Elliot Dixon, a junior at Skyview High.

He and his friends — Sam Cape, Darren Morehouse and Cody Hampton, all juniors at Skyview — see more opportunities to make money jumping into a field like construction or mechanics once they graduate.

The four are taking welding classes at the Career Center and used the job fair to ask questions about what job opportunities will await them when they graduate next year.

High-paying jobs

One thing of which they're sure — they all want to make sure they end up in “high-paying jobs,” they said.

Justin Grantham from Yellowstone Valley Electrical Cooperative spoke to students about how to become linemen or find other jobs in the field.

The company is not hiring, he said.

Still, he sees the career fair as an effective way to educate students on jobs in the field of electricity production and a good way to recruit Billings talent for later.

While not all of the companies there may be hiring, it gives them a chance to let students know what they can do to be better trained for some of those jobs, said Vivian Petersson, integration coordinator for the Career Center.

Petersson helps to organize the event and uses it to help her students think more seriously about the future to help them visualize life beyond high school.

“We have juniors and seniors,” she said of the Career Center's student body. “There isn't much time left.”

Emily Schuster, a senior at Skyview, spent her time visiting the various booths and exploring what was out there.

“I loved all the different options,” she said. “I'm looking for a job.”

Classmate Christian Dinkle, a senior from Senior High, was impressed with the booth set up by the Montana Conservation Corps and thinks he may go in that direction. Like others, he's looking for employment after graduation, not more schooling.

“I liked that there's more than just colleges here,” he said.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

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