More than 2,000 students attend college and career fair
FORT MOHAVE — The future is wide open.
That’s the message organizers of Wednesday’s college and career fair had for students in attendance.
The upper level of the Mojave Crossing Event Center was occupied by representatives of 16 colleges and universities and employers. The floor was taken up by the career and technical education programs of the Colorado River Union High School District and by Mohave Community College.
CTE director Gina Covert said the event started with about 70 vendors, not counting about 40 MCC booths.
“Today’s event is for you,” she told arriving River Valley High School students.
Besides traditional colleges, the fair also included trade and cosmetology schools. Dot Foods representatives talked to students about jobs after graduation, and a company training program that can lead to journeyman certification in fields such as carpentry or electrical work.
Covert said about 2,200 students attended, including RVHS and Mohave High School and eighth-graders from Fox Creek Junior High.
Some college representatives left early, to get ready for College Application Day today at River Valley. MHS had its application day Tuesday.
Each CRUHSD CTE program has a partner at MCC, Covert said. New program offerings include medical assisting, phlebotomy and billing and coding.
Covert said the college, along with the Western Arizona Vocational Education District, the Sunrise Rotary Club of Fort Mohave and Mohave Electric Cooperative, deserved “a huge shout-out” for their contributions to the event’s success.
WAVE helps pay for high-school CTE programs. Program coordinator Kim Santangelo was on hand to inform students of vocational certificates they can earn while in high school.
“We’re trying to get a jumpstart on their career before they graduate high school,” Santangelo said.
MEC was among the employees at the fair, discussing both field and office jobs.
Brandon Moreno was one of several detention officers on hand to talk to students about jobs in the Mohave County Jail.
“It’s pretty cool getting to see their reactions to what we do every day,” Moreno said. “The excitement in their eyes is pretty awesome.”
At the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center booth, Carrie Cantrell talked to students about both professional and entry-level positions at the hospital.
She also discussed benefits at WARMC, including reimbursement available to employees who further their education.
Dot Foods’ Julie Foster said the company’s booth was more heavily visited this year, its second attending the fair. She said it’s likely that now that its distribution center is open near Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, students may be more familiar with the Dot name.
Foster expects the company to return for the 2019 fair, she said.
“It’s a unique opportunity for us to speak to soon-to-be-graduating seniors and let them know what options they have,” Foster said.
Jason Gee, MCC’s associate dean for career and technical education, said the college’s goal was to promote every one of its programs.
“We want to promote higher education in whatever form,” Gee said. “Whether it leads to a job or a transfer program. So students can really understand the value of higher education.”