Kayla Hall, a sophomore at Moffat County High School, said she isn’t sure what career she wants to pursue someday.
“I haven’t decided,” she said.
But, Hall was one of many MCHS students who attended Career Day on Wednesday in the school’s gymnasium, hoping to find answers to that career question mark.
For nearly three hours, representatives from several Craig businesses and organizations sat at booths at the event to discuss the pros and cons of their career choices, and to offer advice on how to get there.
And, for some, it was an opportunity to recruit.
Rose Lindquist, store manager for Maurices, sat behind a colorful banner and passed out brochures and job applications.
“You can really start a career at their age,” Lindquist said. “You can start as a sales associate at 16 and work your way up.
“That’s what I did, actually.”
Emily Spencer was one of five representatives from the Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office who attended Career Day.
Spencer, a field biologist, said getting a foot in the agency’s door is best achieved at a young age.
“I came up through a student career program,” she said.
The federal government offers the Student Temporary Employment Program and Student Career Employment Program, Spencer said. She got involved with the BLM while she studied for her master’s degree.
“I started working seasonally at Dinosaur National Monument,” she said. “Working seasonally is a really great way to get familiar with a government agency. You can find out what you like and don’t like about it.
“And, it can be a jumping off point for more permanent positions.”
School resource officer Norm Rimmer was joined by fellow officers from the Craig Police Department to discuss options for joining law enforcement.
The booth, which included various tools of the trade, attracted a big crowd.
“We’ve been pretty busy,” he said. “We’ve seen a couple hundred (students).”
Rimmer said the police department runs a program called Explorer, wherein students between 14 and 21 can get hands-on experience.
“It’s an opportunity for them to come down and get involved in law enforcement,” he said. “They get to do some of the training we do and see if law enforcement is a good fit for them.”
MCHS freshman Austin Luker is a member of the Explorer program, and he was at the booth to answer questions from his peers.
“It teaches you the fundamentals of real police work,” Luker said. “It’s a great learning experience. It teaches you a lot about life.”
Luker, whose father is with the police department, said he wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
In the Explorer program, Luker got a chance to ride along in his father’s police car. On one occasion, he watched his father break up a fight.
“Yeah, I’ve seen my dad Tase someone,” he said. “It’s pretty exhilarating.”
MCHS freshman Laurie Cotten said she also wants to join law enforcement someday.
Cotten is on the student council and was head of the Career Day committee. She said it took several months to plan the event.
“There was a little stress involved, but I think it turned out really well,” she said. “It was a success.”
Cotten said the event targeted undecided students.
“We’re looking at students that are like, ‘I don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up,’” she said. “But, if we show them people who have real-life experiences, they can ask them, ‘What’s good about your job? What’s bad about your job?’ Then they can really get a feel for the career, not just the cookie-cutter responses.”
Hall remained undecided toward the end of Career Day, but said it was worthwhile attending.
“It had value, for sure,” she said. “There was a lot of information.”
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