This year, to celebrate the Great American Teach-In, Brandon High School and the Education and Workforce Connection Council of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, teamed up to educate Brandon High School seniors about career opportunities available to them right in their own backyard.
The council formed because they wanted to give back to the education community. They noticed there is a bit of a gap in the workforce, so they came up with a way to connect students and employers in the Tampa Bay area.
A select group of employers representing various industries came out to talk to motivated students at Brandon High School. Students were welcomed as they approached each table to learn about what each company or organization has to offer. Some students prepared resumes and sharpened their interview skills for this mini job-fair.
School Board member Melissa Snively, with the support of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Nancee Sorenson, President of Brandon HCC, hope to grow this partnership and concept in the spring. Their vision is to bring a career night to Brandon for not only students, but their families as well, so that everyone can learn about career paths available in their community.
“There are a tons of employers hiring in the Tampa Bay area and we want to keep the students here. Students are in there having conversations and maybe finding interest in different careers— being broadened when it comes to the opportunities available to them,” said Snively.
This casual environment allowed students to learn what is expected of them, what kind of career opportunities are available and what requirements are needed to apply.
“There is no greater asset to a school than the support of its community; this career fair at Brandon High School represents the opportunity for students to connect with our community businesses and network, so that they have post-secondary opportunities readily available where they live,” said Jennifer Sparano, Principal at Brandon High School.
Businesses and organizations in attendance included: Hillsborough Community College, Brandon Campus, HCPS Technical Colleges, Tampa Electric, Rasmussen College, Empire Beauty School, Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce and Brandon Regional Hospital.
Lunch for businesses in attendance was sponsored by CenterState bank and students who participated in career fair survey were entered into a drawing for gift cards.
“We came out to show students there are other options out there for them besides college,” said Sam Nowakowski, Supervisor of Technical Training at TECO, Tampa Electric an Emera Company.
Sam and his team brought out equipment and information to share with students about their journeyman lineman program. It is an apprenticeship program where students are paid while learning the hands-on skills and taking the classes required to become professionals in the field.
Zack York, a junior at Brandon High School hopes to work with students in elementary education. He spoke with staff at the HCC table learn about his options to work towards his career goal.
"Today I learned that there are so many opportunities out there for employment and I should really take advantage of these opportunities because they can help me later in life,” said Zack.View Full Album