PIQUA – Edison State Community College Piqua Campus set the scene Friday, Sept. 20, for the Inspire Career Concert, hosted by Darke County Economic Development along with similar organizations from Mercer, Shelby and Auglaize counties, as well as the AMBE – Auglaize, Mercer Business Education Alliance.
Friday’s event was the second annual Inspire event planned for high school seniors from Darke, Mercer, Auglaize, and Shelby counties.
According to Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers, 1,200 students were registered to attend the career fair and concert, featuring the band Attaboy, who shares motivational messages for teens.
“We’re very pleased with the turnout and to see the engagement between students and businesses,” Bowers said, adding 108 local companies participated by setting up display booths and tables and talking with students about what their businesses offered as far as career opportunities.
“The companies we’ve talked with have been pleased with their interaction with students,” Bowers said.
Information provided by businesses and manufacturers who lined the halls of the main campus, Bowers said, will help “students with connecting the dots” between high school and their future career choice.
Meeting face-to-face with business leaders, he said, provides students with “feedback as they plan for their futures.”
Greenville’s Second National Bank received positive comments from a group of Sidney High School students who said bank representatives Debby Folkerth, assistant vice president/human resources director and Brandy Rhodehamel, banking officer/lender gave the best advice of all the booths they’d visited.
“I want to go into accounting or finance,” said Jarron Kelly. “They explained a lot of information to me.”
Rhodehamel and Folkerth also spent quite a bit of time with a group of seniors from Greenvile High School, who were asking about career opportunites that are available in banking.
“Most of their questions are about what we do at the bank,” Rhodehamel said. “We are trying to engage them.”
Students also were treated to motivational songs and messages by the group Attaboy, with each band member sharing how the decisions they made led to working in their chosen field of music.
Band member Ryan Payne shared how he and his fellow band members were involved in a variety of experiences and careers, which lead to the formation of Attaboy.
“We were still choosing to move forward,” Payne told students. “You choices plus preparation will get you ready for when opportunities come.”
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