Students exposed to careers

Although 18-year-old Aaron Page already knows what he wants to do after graduating from Yerington High School this year, he still enjoyed browsing through the career fair at Western Nevada Community College on Thursday.

"I got to drive a backhoe," he said. "I have one at home, but I've only driven it so many times, so I got to learn new things like how to use the back bucket."

Page plans to attend Arizona Tech School next year.

But for many other students who have not decided on their futures, the career fair provided a glimpse into 85 of their options.

"It's an opportunity for career exploration for students," said college counselor Dianne Hilliard. "It's important not only for college students but also high school kids. It gives them an opportunity to actually talk to people who work in different fields."

More than 900 high school students from Lovelock to Coleville, Calif., gathered to explore booths set up by employers throughout the area.

"It was a huge success," said college spokeswoman Anne Hansen. "Many employers said they thought the students were more interested this year."

Veterinarian Gary Ailes was surprised by students who wanted to take the next step.

He wrote in his evaluation, "While I did not expect it, several kids are interested in working to see if they like the profession."

Susan Walker, a University of Nevada, Reno graduate student, evaluated the fair -- and took home some brochures.

"It was really good for me because I don't know what I want to do," she said. "There were a lot of demonstrations at this career fair I haven't seen before. It was slick."

Hansen said although the fair benefits both the college and high school students, limited transportation funds have made it difficult for students from some high schools to attend.

But an $8,000 grant from the Nevada Public Education Foundation paid for the 30 buses to transport the students from 11 high schools.

"The grant really did make all the difference," Hansen said.


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