On Friday, October 20, the Seacoast School of Technology will host a College and Career Fair with more than 65 colleges, technical programs, local businesses and military representatives expected in attendance.

According to Equity Counselor Sharon Spooner, the objective behind the nearly full-day event is to help students gather information so they can make informed decisions about what they would like to pursue after high school.

“This is their chance to ask questions, find out what’s new at a college, or ask a business what is in demand right now and what positions might be opening up,” she said. “It’s a chance for them to make some connections.”

Spooner said the event reflects the school’s emphasis on preparing students for their future—whether that is in post-secondary school or directly in industry.

“All students must create a portfolio, a physical piece of evidence that shows what they accomplished, in order to graduate,” she said.

To complete their portfolio, she said students must create a resume, cover letter, goals toward which they are working, and a list of references. She said this process as well as events like the College and Career Fair help students feel more prepared to pursue their goals after high school. In total, more than 650 students are expected in attendance.

The event is not just designed to help student build connections with colleges, businesses and military branches, but faculty as well.

“We are hosting a luncheon where faculty can meet these representatives and build or strengthen connections with them,” said Spooner. “I’m excited about that and the faculty is excited, too. It’s a chance for them to share ideas, help each other out.”

Noting colleges and area employers have also expressed enthusiasm for the event, she said the latter group has expressed particular excitement at the chance to source new employees.

“These businesses are looking for qualified candidates,” she said. They are excited to talk to students.”

Al Lawrence, owner of Artisan Electrical Contractors in Madbury, NH, said events like College and Career Fair at Seacoast School of Technology provide a meaningful connection between

Al Lawrence of Artisan Electric

Al Lawrence of Artisan Electric

industry needs today and the workforce of tomorrow.

“There is a huge need in the electrical contracting industry and other trades for qualified job candidates,” he said. “Career and Technical Education programs are helping students develop the kinds of skills employers are looking for today.”

He said these are not just technical skills, either.

“Time management, working as a team, problem-solving, accountability—these are critical skills and ones that directly reflect my own personal values at Artisan Electric,” said Lawrence. “I go to these fairs to support what schools like Seacoast School of Technology are doing and also with the hope I might identify a possible prospect for my company.”

At the fair, Lawrence said he plans to discuss many topics with the students, including the value of apprenticeships.

“I will talk about the kind of learning that is possible in apprenticeships versus college and other forms of higher learning,” he said.

In addition to hosting these types of fairs and requiring portfolios of students, Spooner said the Seacoast School of Technology also provided numerous internship, job shadowing and apprenticeship opportunities.

“We help them make a number of connections with the community—that’s so important,” she said.

To learn more about the Seacoast School of Technology, visit www.seacoasttech.com.