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(West Plains) – “Another great success” is how organizers described the 2013 Career/Job Fair hosted Thursday, Sept. 26, by Missouri State University-West Plains and the South Central Career Center at the Student Recreation Center on the Missouri State-West Plains campus.

Over 600 students and sponsors from 12 area school districts attended the event to learn about current and future job openings and complete career exploration activities. Schools attending included Alton, Bakersfield, Doniphan, Dora, Koshkonong, Licking, Mountain Grove, Southern Reynolds County (Ellington), Van Buren, West Plains, South Central Career Center and Faith Christian Academy in West Plains.

Students, sponsors and other members of the community who attended the event had the opportunity to visit with over 115 exhibitors representing 23 businesses and 22 educational programs. The Missouri Career Center offered visitors the opportunity to view job projections and current job openings in the area and provided assistance with the application process through the website.

Missouri State-West Plains’ career services and campus outreach office provided career exploration resources for educators, as well as a personal job inventory assessment for each visitor. Other businesses demonstrated the application process for available jobs and reviewed career possibilities in each industry represented. Exhibit booths also featured educational programs offered by Missouri State-West Plains and the South Central Career Center.

Many exhibitors gave participants a chance to experience activities associated with a specific career choice. “Visiting with real world business representatives provided visitors with a realistic experience of today’s business world,” said Alice Smith, coordinator of Missouri State-West Plains’ career services and campus outreach office.

Businesses and agencies who participated in the event included Air Evac Lifeteam, American Home Care, Hardee’s, Howell County Sheriff’s Office, Howell-Oregon Electric Co-Operative, United States Marines, Mary Kay Cosmetics/Nina Williams, Maurice’s, McDonald’s, Missouri Career Center/Workforce Development, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Corrections, Ozark Radio Network (radio stations KWPM 1450 AM News Radio, KUKU 100.3 Classic Country, KKDY 102.5 FM, Q94 Jack FM and The Fox 96.9 FM), Ozarks Medical Center, Ozarks Small Business Incubator, University of Missouri Extension Center/Howell County, Small Business and Technology Development Center, Parkway Beauty Academy, Shoe Factory Lofts, Vocational Rehabilitation, West Plains Police Department and Wood & Huston Bank.

Admissions personnel from Missouri State University in Springfield attended, as did representatives of the Viticulture and Enology Science Technology Alliance (VESTA) program at Missouri State University’s Mountain Grove campus. Admissions staff from the Missouri State University campuses in Springfield and West Plains, as well as officials with Missouri State University’s Outreach Program on the West Plains campus, assisted students researching educational options and transfer programs.

Faculty from Missouri State-West Plains’ accounting, agriculture, business, computer graphics and programming, child and family development, entrepreneurship, law enforcement, military science, nursing, respiratory therapy and technology departments described educational programs and career possibilities related to these fields.

Representatives from the Agriculture Club and Enactus student organizations on the Missouri State-West Plains campus also attended.

Officials with South Central Career Center shared information about their certificate programs, including surgical technology, practical nursing, auto technology, culinary arts, digital arts and media, and welding.

“The 2013 Career/Job Fair was a great success in providing a wonderful career research opportunity for students and the general public,” Smith said. “The large number of participants resulted from the extra effort made possible by public schools, the university and area businesses. We would like to extend our thanks to high school administrators for bringing their students, officials at Missouri State University’s three campuses and the South Central Career Center for presenting information about educational opportunities, and area business owners and agency representatives for providing ‘real life’ experiences.”

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