For the second year, Township High School District 211 held a career expo, which highlighted career path information as well as job and internship opportunities. This year’s expo, held at Schaumburg High School, saw 600 students meet with representatives from 155 area businesses.
District 211 Internship Coordinator Jan Brottman said following last year’s successful expo, the team of career counselors wanted to expand.
“After seeing how successful the event was last year, we were motivated to make it even bigger this year to be able to help even more students,” she said.
This year’s expo saw an increase of 60 businesses as well as participation by more than 200 additional students. The expo included career fields from pipefitters and trade jobs to medical and counseling services and more. Adam Sutter, Admissions Director for Pipefitters Local Union 597 attended to discuss the not only the option of working in the trades but to inform students of the availability of paid apprenticeship programs. He said the Expo was a good way to reach students and discuss their options.
“It’s good to discuss this when they are young,” he said. “This field is another viable option where you could make a good living while providing for your family.”
Tamara Hubbard MA, LCPC from Gonski Counseling Services had the opportunity to see the Expo from two sides. Last year Hubbard worked as the career advisor at Schaumburg High School and was part of the team which worked to create the first Career Expo.
“It’s great to be on the other side this year and talk with students who have an interest in psychology and counseling and see how they may fit into that place,” she said. “It was bittersweet seeing all my old coworkers again. The fact that the District provides this for the students and getting to be a part of it now is great.”
Hubbard added that having the Career Expo allows students in high school to see newer career specialties such as food allergy counseling and consultation early enough to expand their understanding of the field.
Brottman said while the overall goal of the Expo is to expose students to different careers, there are additional benefits.
“Secondary to our primary goal, some companies were interviewing students for internships, apprenticeships or full-time jobs.” Brottman said. “We are very fortunate as a District to have community leaders who are willing to give of their time to students who are exploring many possibilities.”
She added that with college costs, the best time to think about career exploration is high school. For students like Samantha McKlennon, a Freshman at William Fremd High School, and her mother Alexa having an exposure to career paths early is a great way to explore her options.
“It’s important to see your choices early on so you can find your path and program classes you may need for your choice,” Samantha said.
“Having this [expo] and knowing the different classes she can chose, she will be able to adjust her classes early in order to pursue her goals,” Alexa added.
Brottman said planning for the 2020 District 211 Career Expo has already begun. Next year’s event with be at Fremd High School on February 27.