Inaugural career fair, expo touted as success
The inaugural “Shape Your Future” career fair and training expo held last Thursday at the Memorial Sports Centre here was a huge success, with 1,204 people attending throughout the day.
“I thought it was awesome,” enthused fair co-ordinator Cathy Tysz. “It was a huge success.
A total of 805 attendees were students in Grades 7-12 while 92 were teachers. The rest consisted of the general public.
The fair gave people an opportunity to explore different jobs, as well as ask professionals from different fields questions about their occupations.
Booths from colleges and universities were quite popular, as around 20 showcased either different schools or programs.
“Confederation College had about eight booths–the water mobile unit to aircraft maintenance to heavy-duty automotive, the asthetics program, the paramedics,” noted Tysz.
“Rainy River Community College came from across the river and they were so pleased to be there and they were so happy to be invited,” she added.
“A lot of people did not know they could go to college over there.”
A wide variety of different occupations and businesses also were on hand last Thursday.
“We had lots of skilled trades,” said Tysz. “CN Rail, lots from the mining industries, Sysco. . . .
“The students loved it.”
Tysz said each attendee was given a ballet upon entering the arena and the completed ballet was their door prize entry.
“They had to evaluate the trade show, answer questions, and give us comments [before they could enter the draw for the door prize],” she explained.
She said some of the comments received included: “It’s nothing but fabulous,” “Awesome,” “I had so much fun,” “That was great,” “That was the best I’ve ever seen,” “Thanks for bringing it to Fort Frances,” “Very well-organized,” and “Very well-run.”
“I have gotten at least a dozen e-mails saying, ‘Congratulations on a job very well done,’ and ‘It’s a great event,’” Tysz added.
Many people sent feedback also commenting on how welcoming the event was.
“A lot of people who came from out-of-town were extremely impressed by the teamwork involved by the NCDS staff,” Tysz said.
“How well they rallied together, and how everybody came after work and stayed until midnight cleaning up.
“They did an awesome job.”
With the career fair being so successful, another one most likely will take place again in the next year or two.
“We’re debating,” noted Tysz. “We’re not sure if it should be annual or every second year.
“We’re thinking every year is too much–the same students are still in school [and will not necessarily need to be exposed to the same things every year], so we’re thinking every second year.
“And also, we found that a lot of business that we wanted to come couldn’t come because they didn’t have the funding,” she added.
“This way, it gives them two years to save money.”
After months of hard work, Tysz is glad everything went so well last Thursday. She enjoyed the project, and compared it to being on the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship committee.
“It was just another bass tournament,” she reasoned. “Lots of phone calls, lots of organization, lots of structure, lots of detail.”
More than two dozen door prizes were donated by various businesses throughout the district, with the top prize going to Dylan Ossachuk, who won a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet donated by the Rainy River Future Development Corp.
Other top prizes went to Ralph Wolff, who won a three-month membership to Energy Fitness, and Maureen Hahkala, who won cedar lawn bench donated by Naicatchewenin Development Corp.