Career Expo hosts area students
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Over 1500 students from Crowley, Church Point, Rayne, Iota and other surrounding areas filled Crowley’s Rice Festival building Tuesday for the annual Career Connections Expo presented by the Acadia Parish School Board.
The students, all eighth and tenth graders, wandered from booth to booth - with each booth representing a different business from Acadia Parish. The one-day, tradeshow-style event gave the local businesses a chance to interact with the students and help them to explore a variety of career options that lay in their future. The Expo also helped the students to become more informed of the day-to-day tasks involved in many jobs.
Among the most popular booths were the those of area law enforcement departments. The Crowley Police Department had some fun with the kids while trying to prove a point. A set of goggles, which represented the vision of a person with a .17 blood alcohol content (over twice the legal limit) was placed on the participant’s head. Officer Konrad Kirsch then handed the kids a beanbag and from a distance of about fifteen feet challenged them to try to hit him. The beanbags never seemed to come within ten feet of Officer Kirsch and though many of the students laughed - they also may have learned a valuable lesson.
Louisiana Technical College’s Acadia Parish location, which has witnessed quite a resurgence under the guidance of Assistant Dean Pat Miers, also had some nice displays, with an 18-wheeler simulator that the students could climb into and “drive.”
“That was my favorite one,” said Church Point student Troy Hargrave.
While the event was fun for all involved, it also gave students a chance to invest in and plan for their futures. By working together businesses and schools will reinforce the importance of furthering education and realities in the workplace.
Many area officials and dignitaries attended the event. Among them were Crowley Mayor Greg Jones, Kayla Link with the Crowley Chamber of Commerce, Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson, and Acadia Parish Sheriff Wayne Melancon.
“This year’s event was a great success,” said Kayla Link with the Crowley Chamber of Commerce. “More than 1500 students had the opportunity to visit with business and community leaders about educational and career opportunities and gain a better understanding of how to prepare for their future.”