Senior Job Fair 2019

KISD Senior Job Fair
04/18/2019
By: Todd Martin
It looked a lot like most any job fair, but for the high school educators in the room, it was a touching moment of belief.
 
“Today is about putting our values in action,” said Killeen ISD Chief of College, Career and Military Readiness Nancy Duran. “We believe in our students, that the education we provide them is preparing them for this moment of employability.”
 
For the second year, Killeen ISD hosted a job fair for seniors about to graduate from high school and the event grew to include Early College High School along with Killeen, Ellison, Shoemaker and Harker Heights high schools, the Career Center and Pathways Academic Campus.
 
About 50 area employers set up at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center Thursday to meet approximately 450 high school seniors in a matchup of those looking to hire and those looking to work.
 
Career and Technical Education Advisor Warren Kostencki was ringleader, taking each wave of students into a large room for a briefing about interviewing before releasing them into the larger ballroom of employers. He reminded them to turn cell phones off, to get rid of gum and to smile.
 
Once inside, high school counselors, with volunteer soldiers and Army job coaches provided more support for students.
 
“I liked it,” said Shoemaker High School senior Timothy Farr, “there was a lot of opportunity in there.”
 
While he plans to enter the U.S. Navy straight out of high school, Farr said he was looking for summer work to put some money in his pocket. “It’s very exciting,” he said of the fast-approaching graduation. “I’m ready to start life and to provide a stable income for myself and my eventual family.”
 
A wide variety of employers, restaurants, government services, private companies, including Career and Technical Education job providers offered broad opportunities for part-time and full-time work, those headed to college or other post-secondary options.
 
“This is their opportunity to sell themselves,” Duran said. “We worked hard to bring employers who have jobs for high school graduates.”
 
“I thought it was good, informative,” said Harker Heights High School senior William Lee. “I appreciate all the help for us as high school graduates.”
 
Reflecting on the coming end of high school, Lee said, “It’s a big jump. We’re swimming for the first time.”
 
Career Center teacher Lindsey Nennig was admittedly emotional as her seniors began interacting with potential employers.
 
“Having them in class for three years, you go through it together and become a little family,” she said. “They’re excited. They practiced what to wear and what to say and they all set a goal, a goal to get a job.”

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