TROY — Local industry gathered at Hobart Arena for the 2015 Career Day and Job Fair on Tuesday to learn about career and educational opportunities, as well as help job seekers find a new place to put their experience to work.
Workforce Development Manager for Troy Development Council Ron Musilli said this year is the third year for Career Day, and compared to the previous two years, this year is much larger than before — and different.
“We learned over the last few years that we needed to expand the number of employers,” he explained.
This year, 1,100 high school students came from several districts. Career Day also included six presentations on topics such as manufacturing and the economy, planning a career and social media issues, as well as economic issues in the city of Troy.
“The first year we did it we had about 300 students and we did the presentations on the floor,” he said. “With 1,100 students you can’t do it that way, so we have the presentations in the stands.”
Students then had time to visit with 40 vendors.
Ed Westmeyer, co-chair of America’s Best Communities, said the group came to help promote the ABC contest as well as the opportunities within the community.
“We thought it would be a good idea to promote the opportunity that we have with the ABC contest,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to promote that Troy is a great place to live.”
Meanwhile on the floor, human resources benefits specialist Karen Monnier and retail customer service supervisor Trisha Kemper, both of Clopay Building Products, spoke to students about the numerous opportunities within Clopay.
“We have various manufacturing positions, we have clerical positions,” Monnier said. “We have a lot of opportunities and we’re expanding. We’re adding close to 200 jobs.”
Full-time employment manufacturing at Clopay requires the applicant to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
Manufacturing human resources representative for Crown Equipment Corporation Renee Rister said the corporation had a lot of opportunities for high school graduates.
“We have a summer student program, so if they want to try to work in manufacturing over the summer and make some money they can do that,” she said.
Crown hired 127 students last summer, and when students come back over the summer from college they may continue to work there. Some of the job opportunities right out of high school include entry-level positions in manufacturing and some office work.
“Twenty-five percent of our workforce will be retiring in the next five to 10 years, so we will be needing to hire people,” Rister said. “The other thing about Crown is that we’re growing so quickly, so not only are we replacing people, but we have new positions becoming available as well.”
Enrollment manager for Edison State Community College Stacey Bean was at Career Day last year and was excited to return to this year to the higher turnout. She talked to students about the programs that Edison offers and how taking courses at Edison can help them save money.
“Some of them have a plan and that’s great, so you encourage that, but others don’t know what they want to do or they’re not ready to go away yet so they start at Edison and then transfer on,” she said. “It’s been great to have conversations.”
Many of the students have plans and, according to Bean, many of the students from Troy High School she spoke to are taking dual credit courses offered by Edison.
Troy High School senior Mitchell Evans said he was not looking for a specific job, but that Career Day did help show him what was available in Troy.
Likewise, Troy High School juniors Jessica Blue and Hannabelle Millard looked at about 10 vendors together to get a general look of what career and post-secondary education options were available.
“I thought Career Day was excellent,” Blue said. “A lot of the vendors were very informative and I learned a lot.”
Millard said she was looking into Edison and had talked with Bean about options for the future.
“I didn’t know that many of these businesses were in Troy,” she said. “It really helped me to see what my options were.”
From 3-7 p.m., a job fair open to the community was then held at Hobart Arena.
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at email@example.com or on Twitter @Troydailynews.