S.O. career fair offers opportunities to learn trade occupations

CANYONVILLE, Ore. — Today, high school students from six Oregon counties participated in the 2nd Annual Southern Oregon Trade Careers Expo.

The fair allows students to learn about different trade occupations and meet potential employers.

Organizers said nearly 2,000 students got hands-on experiences on everything from welding to operating large machinery.

“You got electricians you got plumbing, you got wildland fire fighting, you even got the FBI here,” Brook DeRieux, Ashland H.S. Senior said. “Didn’t realize how many jobs would actually be here and I feel like I have more of an opportunity to get out there and prove myself.”

More than 100 exhibitors filled the parking lot and hall of Seven Feathers Thursday.

The goal behind the fair is to give students the opportunity to interact and build connections with employers.

For Ashland High School Senior Aurora Olson, she found her experience on the scissor lift, not the perfect fit.

“I figured out that it wasn’t really for me because I’m scared of heights. I guess that job isn’t really for me,” she said.

Organizers said with many trade workers retiring, it’s a great opportunity for the next generation to step up and learn.

“It’s the other four-year degree,” Christie Meacham, ODOT said.

Over half of the attendees were from Jackson and Josephine counties.

The fair also offered veterans the opportunity to meet with employers and hand in resumes to different agencies.

The fair is put on every two years. The third annual fair is scheduled to return in 2021.

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