More than 2,000 area high school juniors hit the La Crosse Center on Thursday for the annual Career Expo.
The students, who came from more than a dozen western Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota school districts, spent their morning alternating between a college fair and breakout sessions about different career fields.
Western was one of the sponsors of the expo, Director of Recruitment and K-12 Relations Deb Hether said. The expo gives students a chance to learn more about different career fields and options, and it connects students with recruiters from colleges and universities from all over the Midwest.
“It gives students a really great opportunity to learn about different careers,” she said. “They can explore and learn more about their interest areas.”
More than 100 college recruiters were at the expo, which is part of the Wisconsin Education Fair program that brings campus representatives to communities across the state. In another room at the center, students were able to choose among 17 career clusters, with breakout sessions in each field.
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At the booth about careers in environmental science, representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey spoke about career opportunities their organizations have for students and graduates. The USGS hires biologists, chemists, geologists and experts in related fields such as information technology in order to study, promote and protect the country’s natural resources.
“We’re really excited to get students involved in natural resources,” FWS fish biologist Heidi Keuler said. “We can pick up job shadows and recruit interns from expos like this.”
At another booth, a representative from Altra Federal Credit Union spoke about jobs in the financial sector, helping people grow, invest and protect their money. Other booths featured speakers from Kwik Trip, LHI and other companies and organizations about careers in fields from human services to computer science.
Zach Gordon was one of the students from the Holmen School District attending the expo, and during the breakout sessions he learned more about careers in business.
Gordon said he is interested in the trades, as he likes hands-on work, and he learned a lot about the variety of careers he could pursue, such as design or manufacturing. That information will help him as he plans for a career after graduation. He’s considering pursuing a technical degree at a two-year college.
“The session really helped show the options available to me,” classmate Jonathan Marcou said of attending the business session. “It opened my eyes to all the possibilities.”
“The session really helped show the options available to me. It opened my eyes to all the possibilities.” Jonathan Marcou, Holmen High School junior