3,000 Big Country high school students take part in career expo

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The World of Work Youth Expo is giving high school students from around the Big Country the opportunity to meet with employers in the area.

“It’s an exposure fair, it’s a career exploration fair. It’s not a hiring event,” said Lindsey Phillips, Career Consultant at Workforce Solutions. “Really, the employers are here to talk to the students about what a day in their office or what a day in their industry looks like.”

“It is a way to get employers and future employees connected,” said Sammy Garcia, owner of Abilene’s State Farm agency.

Unlike a typical job fair, this expo provides high school students hands-on experiences, whether it be learning to perform CPR, working out like a Marine, or even getting in front of the camera.

“The industries are changing, jobs are changing,” said Phillips. “You really need to take the time to think about your passions.”

The objective is to teach students what job opportunities lie within a field of their interest.  It also encourages students who haven’t decided what they want to do to start opening their eyes to the career fields surrounding them.

“If you wait until they’ve graduated high school before you start doing that, you kind of missed the boat,” said Garcia.

The expo has brought high school student ambassadors aboard to help out with planning the expo events.

“It’s a total blast to help people my age,” said Maddy Beal, a sophomore student ambassador. “This is an awesome opportunity and anybody who has the advantage to take it should.”

“Here is where I decided what I wanted to do,” said AJ Lacey, a senior student ambassador. “My junior year, I talked to paramedics and they got me interested in the medical field.”

And they say the World of Work is the gateway to a bright future.

“A lot of kids, when they get out of high school, don’t know what they want to do with their life,” said Jax Bellar, a junior student ambassador. “This is just a great opportunity for them to learn about jobs in this area and take a step into the game of life.”

The next World of Work Youth Expo has already been set in November of 2018 at the Abilene Convention Center.

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