A career fair committee, comprised of career coordinator Joseph Pirraglia, members of the guidance department and a number of teachers at Johnston High School, hosted a multi-vendor career fair on Wednesday, April 4 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There were approximately 80 representatives on site in the school’s gymnasium, allowing students to explore many post-secondary options. There were several colleges and universities present, including The University of Rhode Island Roger Williams University, MTTI, the Johnson & Wales University Culinary and Travel and Tourism majors, the Community College of Rhode Island, Bridgewater State University and UTI.
In addition to the colleges and universities present, there were several military branches represented as well, including the Army and Marines.
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were broadcasting live as students circulated around the room, arriving in groups for four, 45-minute sessions throughout the morning. The sessions also provided the students an opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of career options beyond a college education, or instead of. There were local businesses on site such as Tony DeJesus from Big Blue Bug Solutions and Greg Pagliarini from Central Nurseries. There were also careers to explore such as working for the RI Family Court Sheriffs, the FBI or in a wide variety of other career pathways, including medical, forensics, first responders, cybersecurity, finance, corporate and creative careers.
Throughout the morning the students, who were mostly juniors and some seniors, gathered information, asked questions, and grabbed some swag from the various representatives on site, from drawstring bags to stress balls, pens and notepads, and the like. They had the opportunity to delve more deeply into careers they were interested in and to learn about others they may not have known they had an interest in.
According to Joe Pirraglia, school-based coordinator at JHS, the event was deemed a success by both the vendors who represented the various careers and by the students themselves.
“I thought the career fair went well. We had a wide cross section of careers. Many of the career vendors even remarked about the different types of careers in the medical, banking/finance, criminal justice, advanced manufacturing, among others,” he said. “Many of the career vendors represented careers that required a four year college degree, two year degree, and/or technical training. It was my intent that the career fair would offer career options for all the different level of students. Many of the students said they were really surprised in the number of career vendors that attended. They also said they wished they had more time to meet with other vendors and that all of the career vendors that they talked with were extremely knowledgeable and very friendly.”