GREENVILLE — The Senior Straight to Work Job Fair took place at Greenville High School (GHS) on April 11 and had seniors from five schools attend the event: Ansonia, Greenville, Mississinawa Valley, Franklin-Monroe and Tri – Village.
According to Darke County Economic Development’s Career Pathway Coordinator Lisa J. Wendel, the event’s purposes are for students to foster business/student connections and to have an opportunity to practice their verbal communication skills. Students had 45 minutes of interviewing, which included 15 businesses at three minutes each.
“The companies have been very willing to participate in this event,” Wendel said. “I think they see it as both a community service and a way to touch their future work force.”
The businesses present were: Midmark Corp.; Trilogy Health Services, LLC; FRAM, Greenville Technology, Inc.; Ramco Electric Motors, Inc.; Kroger, Wayne HealthCare; Whirlpool Corp.; Brethren Retirement Community; Walmart; King’s Command Foods, Inc.; Fort Recovery Industries, Inc.; Cosmo Prof Beauty Supply and Edison Community College of Greenville. Edison and Darke County
Benefits Coordinator Kendra Anglero with Brethren Retirement Community said she loves the young kids’ drive and their attitude to improve themselves. Brethren offers many career entry points, such as dining services, caregiver, State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNA) and resident assistant.
“I always look for people with good skills, but their attitude and outlook on care is almost more important, because you can’t teach that,” she said. “You either have that or you don’t.”
Commission Vice-Chair Mike Stegall and Edison were the only non-hiring businesses at the event. They served other purposes to the students. Commissioner Stegall interviewed seniors and gave them pointers about their skill levels.
“Mike makes students feel comfortable and he was specifically chosen because he is good at that,” Wendel said.
Stegall said most of the student gave really good interviews, but won’t look the interviewer in the eye. He always asks them to give him an honest answer, because employers want the students’ true opinions, he said.
“I am asking some questions they may not normally get asked to find out a little bit about them and what they think of Darke County,” Stegall said. “I am also trying to see if there is any interest in politics from young people. These kids are Darke County’s best. We want them here. We are showing them, if they return to Darke County, they can raise a family here, get a good job and help make the county even better. Let’s keep the home town talent here.”
Naval Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred said the event gives students an opportunity to see the businesses that are out there, talk to them and give them an idea of what they need to do to fit into a field in which they are interested.
“NJROTC students have some leadership opportunities and experiences that a lot of these businesses look for,” he said. “They see that these kids are already structured and have those manners – a lot of that comes into play. Little things like saying, ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am make a big impresssion.”
Senior GHS student Michelle Fannin said she was unaware that many companies participating in the job fair existed. She also learned that some employers gave better interviews than others.
“I have never been interviewed,” she said. “I feel some of the employers were more calming and personal. A few others were very strict or didn’t care what I said, because they interrupted what I was saying with new questions. This was a very great opportunity for me to be able to get these interviews with these people and have a very realistic experience.
“There were a few employers that I thought I would be a great employee for because I’ m very hands-on and people oriented person, such as Wayne HealthCare and Bretheren Retirement Community,” Fannin said. “I would never have thought about that, but I work with preschoolers (Careers with Children), and the idea of being able to work with the elderly hands – on, I thought that was a good fit. That is something I never would have known if it wasn’t for this event.”