The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 24, 2012

School official promotes career fairs

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — This week’s Raleigh County high schools’ Career Connections Fairs are helping to “empower students with resources,” said Mark Kodack, county special education transition facilitator, at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of education.

Once only a special education initiative to provide students post-school connections and support, the fairs are now expanded to include all high school students across the county.

This week career fairs have already been held at Liberty, Woodrow Wilson and Independence high schools. Shady Spring will host their Career Connection fair on Friday, Kodack said.

“This is the best option for students to find out what opportunities there are after graduation. It is about making connections with employers, technical schools and colleges as well as letting them know there are systems and supports available to them,” he explained.

Among those agencies present at this weeks career fair are Ghent Volunteer Fire Department, Mountain State Center for Independent Living, DHHR, Beckley Job Service, Citizen Conservation Corps, WorkForce, 10  two- and four-year colleges and universities, and representatives from each branch of the U.S. Military.

Kodack said many students are surprised to discover the opportunities available to them right out of high school. For instance, many did not know there are entry level positions available with the Federal Bureau of Prisons that do not require further education.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent James Brown and the board of education recognized Crescent and Maxwell Hill Elementary Schools for achieving the Exemplary Accreditation Status by the West Virginia Office of Education Performance Audits.

Brown stressed how difficult it is for school to achieve this ranking, especially elementary schools where their rankings are based only on attendance and academics.

“I can’t underscore this enough: It is tremendous to have this recognition. There are over 600 schools in West Virginia and only 64 in the state met this standard. Crescent and Maxwell Hill have truly set themselves apart from the rest,” he said.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com