More than 25 businesses representing all career areas within the school came to Triplett Tech on April 11, 2017, for a Career Fair. The Fair was scheduled during Triplett’s morning classes because senior classes are held during that time block. Crystal Lynn, School Counselor at Triplett Tech, originated and organized the Career Fair.
“The overall goal of this event,” said Ms. Lynn, “was to provide our students with opportunities to network with local business and industry and be more familiar with the job opportunities available here in Shenandoah County. Most of these students are getting ready to enter the workforce.” Ms. Lynn continued, “For some of our students this was the first time that they participated in a professional interview.”
“Ms. Lynn did a great job targeting businesses who can potentially employ our kids,” said Connie Pangle, Principal of Triplett Tech.
“Most businesses,” commented Ms. Lynn, “even those who are not currently hiring, were eager to talk to our students.”
Electricity students Brett Poling (left) and Jacob Richards interview with Trumbo Electric.
Justin McIlwee (right), Triplett Tech Masonry student, interviews
with Stambaugh Masonry.
Ms. Lynn explained that the Career Fair was divided into two segments. For the first 45-minutes, students walked through the Career Fair to talk informally with potential employers and to learn about employment opportunities. During the second segment, there were individual interview sessions with employers meeting one-on-one with students. Each employer completed five, 15-minute interviews. Since some employers brought more than one representative, most students had the opportunity to interview with two different businesses.
Criminal Justice student Tamra Scott interviews with the Virginia State Police.
Some businesses interviewed for real jobs while others provided an educational opportunity for students to practice interviewing skills. Westminster Canterbury, for example, was interviewing for real CNA and Culinary positions. Abby Tucker (SHS), who is enrolled in Health Care Sciences at Triplett, received a call back following her Triplett interview with Westminster Canterbury. The Director of Nursing set up an interview with Abby that included a tour of their Health Care Facility. Abby reported that Westminster Canterbury is “amazing, gorgeous, and would be a fantastic place to work.” She was offered a position. Abbie will use her CNA certification to help finance a psychology degree at Shenandoah University.
Liz Hisghman, who is enrolled in Triplett’s CNA program, interviews with Westminster-Canterbury.
Trey Mills, a senior from Strasburg High School enrolled in Triplett’s Culinary Arts program, interviewed with Woodstock Cafe, Bryce Resort, and Westminster-Canterbury. Even though Trey has prior interview experience, he found the Career Fair to be helpful especially since he received constructive feedback on his interview skills from one of the business representatives who had interviewed him. Trey plans to continue to work for Bistecca Italian Chop House while he attends LFCC for two years to earn credits that will transfer to a 4-year university.
“Oh, yes,” said Ashlyn Dispanet, a senior Cosmetology student from Central High School, who had never been interviewed for employment, “participating in the interviews was very helpful.” Ashley was interviewed by professionals from Hair Spray Salon and Hair Cuttery. “Just going through the interview process,” she explained, -- having to think quickly to answer questions --- will be helpful in future interviews. After passing her state exams, Ashley plans to attend LFCC to earn an Associates Degree in Small Business Administration. Her “dream” -- to one day own her own hair salon.
Cosmetology student Jordan Keller interviews with Hair Cuttery.
“This first Career Fair was great,” said Connie Pangle. “We sincerely appreciate all of the businesses who took time to come and to interview our students. We look forward to making the Career Fair an annual event at Triplett Tech.”
Garrett Cummins, Auto Tech student, interviews with
the Town of Woodstock.