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John Seiple

Holly Hill-Roberts Middle School students listen as John Seiple talks about job opportunities at US Foods during the LMHS Career Show & Tell Showcase on April 27.

SANTEE - Four hundred students from Lake Marion High School and Technology Center, Elloree Middle and Holly Hill-Roberts Middle schools learned about career opportunities from Boeing, U.S. Food Services and 40 other potential employers during the LMHS Career Show & Tell Showcase on April 27.

“This (turnout) is outstanding,” said Kelvin Lemon, LMHS principal. “It gives us a great opportunity to recruit for our Career and Technology Education Department and let students really see what we have to offer.”

“One of our major goals is to increase the number of students we have who can become CATE completers and increase the number of students we have who can earn industry certifications,” Lemon added. “But for any of that to happen, they have to know what we have to offer. We have to spark their interest so they can get into the programs and be successful.”

Jeanetta Williams, LMHS career specialist, said, “This (event) showcases our career and technology departments. Probably, about late January, I started calling around to different businesses trying to get a representative from each cluster. Then it started growing. People heard about it and wanted to be a part of it. So, I’m really thankful to the community for joining in and coming to show their support for the school.”

Every available faculty member helped facilitate the showcase. Members of the LMHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps served as tour guides for the event.

Potential employers who provided students with information at the Career Fair included private sector companies, such as Allied Air, Blanchard Machinery, CVS Pharmacy, Detyens Shipyards, Husqvarna, La La Land Dance Academy, Williams Funeral Home, WOLO-TV and Zeus Industrial Products Inc.

“We even had Perfecting Talent Connection,” Williams said. “They came all the way from Georgia to be here to share information about the entertainment industry.”

Many of Orangeburg County government agencies had representatives on hand as well. These included the Department of Public Service (Roads and Bridges), the Department of Public Utilities, Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services, the county coroner’s office and units of the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Armed Forces were well represented also, with personnel on hand to tell students about career opportunities in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services did likewise. The Santee Fire Department also had representatives on hand.

In addition, South Carolina State University and Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College were represented.

“Engineering is really something that our students are taking an interest in so I’m very glad that we have various departments from South Carolina State and OCtech to showcase what our students can do in those areas with them,” Williams said. “It’s great that not only human resource professionals are here, but also people who work in the industries themselves to talk about what it is that they’re doing.”

“That’s what it’s all about - to expose (our students) to as many careers as we can so that they can have a plan after graduation ... ," Williams said. “We just have so much to offer students here that I didn’t have when I was in school."

She added, “Not every student is going to go to college. Some of them are going to go straight into the workforce. So, we’re working hard here to make sure that they’re certified in various fields like our automotive students. They get ASE certification if they pass the test.”

“We have great things going on at Lake Marion High School,” Lemon said. “We just have to get the word out and let people know.”

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Contact the writer: gwh903@yahoo.com.

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