The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 14, 2014

Students get look at jobs, training

900-plus attend career fair

MERCER COUNTY — It was easy to see Alex Myers of Farrell was having a good time checking out the pieces of artwork produced by Applied Systems & Technology Transfer’s 3-D equipment.

Plastic items created by the Youngstown company’s small $1,000 machine included shoes, a skull and little creatures.

For Myers though, it was counting the items that held more meaning. The 10th-grader is looking to financing or accounting as a future career.

“I just like working with numbers,’’ he said.

He and more than 900 other local 10th-graders were on hand for the Business & Industrial Career Fair held at Park Inn by Radisson in Shenango Township on Thursday. Hosted by Oh-Penn which oversees job training and career opportunities for a five-county area in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the event attracted 13 local school districts to enable students to interact with potential future employers and post-secondary schools.

Of particular importance was to show students the types of  job skills they will need for their careers.

Among the advice students were told was that there are various certifications available to help them land a job. But those certifications can vary widely.

The American Welding Society, for example, has about 1,000 combinations of certifications, said Eric Karmecy, Oh-Penn’s project manager. Then again, the American Society of Quality has its own sets of criteria for certifications.

“It helps employers define the type of worker they need and it helps the employee figure out the skills they need,’’ Karmecy said of certifications.

While skills were important, students were also shown how jobs turn into dollars.

Examples of entry level pay scales given ranged from maintenance workers at $8.91-an-hour all the way up to industrial inspectors and testers paying $20.21.

Amy Weller, director of employment and community development at Ellwood Crankshaft Group, which operates a plant in Hermitage, was one of the representatives on hand at the fair.

While employing lots of local welders, Weller said it’s extremely difficult to find local metallurgists and material science engineers. As a result, she has to travel to Colorado to fill those posts. She hopes events such as the fair will guide students into these jobs that are in demand.

“This event is about planting seeds,’’ she said.

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