North Lawrence Career Center hosts first job fair for students

BEDFORD – The North Lawrence Career Center hosted their first ever job fair event on Wednesday, which saw 30 local employers line the building’s halls to talk future career opportunities with students.

Jennifer Fletcher, HR manager for Reynolds Construction, speaks with students during the North Lawrence Career Center Job Fair

Many of the programs offered at the NLCC are aimed at equipping students with the training and skills needed to find work quickly after high school in a variety of fields. The job fair hosted this week serves as the next step in that equation, linking students up with employers that are actively seeking candidates like them for open positions.

At the event, students were able to talk directly with potential employers about job requirements, expectations and other aspects of their future careers.

One of the employers at the event, Orleans-based Reynolds Construction, was on-site looking for students with an interest in engineers that would be looking to work for the company.

“We are mainly on the civil side of the engineering world. We do construction of wastewater treatment facilities, pipelines, marine and tunnel,” explained Jennifer Fletcher, who is the HR manager for Reynolds Construction. “So, we would be looking for those kids that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, maybe kids that are looking into engineering and looking towards the civil side of things, which there’s a big need for right now.”

Fletcher noted she had students speak with her throughout the morning who seemed interested in pursuing a career in the field. She said the interest she saw on Wednesday was a continuation of more young people looking towards careers in trade fields, as schools have begun to offer more alternative paths for students.

“I’m seeing it a lot more than we used to. I think schools used to steer kids more toward going to college and now they’re saying that’s not an option for everyone. So, I am seeing an uptick in kids that are looking at trade routes,” she said.

Paul J. Fountain, with the Hoosier National Forest, as at the NLCC event seeking students with an interest in becoming prescribed fire crew members and engine crew members to help put out burns across their 200,000 acres of land between Nashville and the Ohio River.

“We’re always looking for folks to come to help us out with doing our burns, our prescribed fire burns. What we’re doing is we’re trying to promote oak and hickory growth by getting rid of all the stuff on the forest floor, and then promoting those trees to come up with less competition,” he said.

According to Fountain, he had spoken to many students throughout the day who had expressed interest in joining.

“We’ve had a lot of students, a lot of the outdoorsy type of students that want to enjoy the outdoors that are not afraid of hard work,” he said.

Adam Tillet, employment consultant for IU Auxiliary Business Services, said he hoped to alert students to the wide variety of jobs offered around the campus.

“My main goal here was just kind of to spread awareness of what we have because we do have a wide variety of positions from everything from custodians, dishwashers, cooks, chefs up to like electricians, electrical specialists, bus drivers, mechanics. Auxiliary business is kind of a little city on campus in a way,” Tillet said.

Tillet said he had spoken with quite a few students interested in potentially coming to work for the university after they graduate.

“I’ve seen a lot of interest. You kind of never know what you’re gonna get when you come to a setup like this, but the kids have been very engaging. Asking a lot of questions, and I’ve had quite a few sign up for more information,” he said.