ANGOLA NY (WIVB) — It’s been a great day for students at Lake Shore High School learning to navigate the real world. The school held its first in-person job fair in two years since the pandemic.
“Two years ago, a year ago, this wouldn’t have happened. It would have been virtual and as anyone could tell you, yourself. It wouldn’t have been the same,” said Jeffrey Connors, who is the student government counselor at Lake Shore High School.
Students met with employers and university representatives from more than 50 local businesses and institutions to see their options after graduation.
“They’re exposed not just to the colleges that were here, but they’re exposed to the various unions and professions,” Connors said.
“High schools need to embrace college and career readiness. It will no longer be just a one-track process and we need to educate our young people on those pathways,” said Steven Brown, who is a counselor at the school.
Students in grades 9 through 12 visited each booth at the fair to learn about various trades like construction and carpentry, service jobs like the navy, and to meet local colleges and universities.
“We have to provide that connection with these opportunities because not everyone goes straight to college after high school,” Brown said. “They could find their place in a trade or in an apprenticeship program and the more information the students have, the better the decisions they will make.
“There are so many different options and there are so many things that interest me. It really helped me to learn more about the opportunities available to me and what I can do,” said said Dylan Repertorio, who is a junior at Lake Shore High School.
“Especially me being a sophomore in high school, a lot of me and my friends don’t really know what we want to do or where to go,” Lauren Smith said. “Some of us know we want to be a lawyer or a doctor, but we don’t really know how to take those steps.”
The Northland Workforce and Training Center, located in Buffalo, is currently working with the school district on a partnership for students who want to enter a skilled trade. Kasumu Jamil, outreach specialist at Northland, said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the students.
“The students were amazing, they were very, very engaging,” he said. “They came to me, they had questions ready to ask me and asking me what they needed to do next to be successful after graduating from high school.”
Sarah Minkewicz is a journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.