South Plainfield- On Wednesday, February 27, 2019 the South Plainfield School District held its First Annual College and Career Fair at South Plainfield High School. The day was divided into two exciting sessions. The first session comprised of high school juniors participating in a panel discussion with several local business owners and professionals who presented information about their careers and their paths to success; this event is an annual tradition that is organized by the South Plainfield Business Association. Students heard from representatives with careers in finance, law enforcement, pharmaceutical and health services, business consulting, politics, broadcasting, HVAC, foodservice, and floral design. Following the panel discussion, students then had the opportunity to speak to panel members about how they can pave their own way into the various careers after graduation.
The afternoon session was this first of its kind in South Plainfield history. The high school gymnasium was transformed into a conference venue, with over twenty-five unique exhibition areas set up for students to experience presentations from all areas of student career interests. The session offered students the chance to actually meet with representatives from local labor unions, colleges, universities, corporations, and trade schools to discuss career opportunities for both college bound and non-college bound students. Following the presentation, students had the chance to ask questions and collect materials from each station to review at home and with their school guidance counselors as they plan for their future career path. This event gave students insight into the vocational/trade and academic paths available to them after graduating from high school. For those students still indecisive about future endeavors, having the chance to communicate with these various institutions helped fine-tune their vision for postsecondary prospects.
The students expressed a lot of excitement about the prospect of meeting with perspective employers and speak with representatives about their career options, college programs, internships, and straight to work options. Local labor unions discussed apprenticeships and testing requirements following graduation for those students interested in joining the trade unions.
Dr. Noreen Lishak, South Plainfield School Superintendent stated, “The district wanted to provide our students with as many career options as possible. You may have a plan to go on to college and become an accountant or engineer, or you may want to work in the trades or service industry. Whatever career path our students take, we want to make sure the South Plainfield School District provides our students the opportunities to see all of the different career choices available to them. What career path you choose is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, we need to assist our students in making the right choice by providing the opportunity to see what’s available to our college bound and non-college bound students. I believe this career fair did just that - and we will make next year’s fair even bigger and better for our students.”
The South Plainfield School District would like to thank the following contributors for participating in our First Annual College and Career Fair:
Panelists- Mathew Anesh - Bank of America and Mayor of South Plainfield, Derryck White - Business Consultant and South Plainfield Councilman, Chris Kuberiet - First Assistant Prosecutor, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Georgeann Cochrane - Co owner of Mohns Florist, Thomas Rupcoe – Business owner- Rupcoe Plumbing, Heating and Air and HVAC teacher at Raritan Valley College, Justin Melanson - South Plainfield Police Officer and School Resource Officer, Patrick Boyle - Sports Broadcaster, Senator Patrick Diegnan - Attorney and New Jersey State Senator,
Charlie Kurland – Business owner, Hometown Heroes, Bill Assault – Business owner, Pharmacist- Twin City, Denise Thomas - Deputy Public Defender, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Kara Sullivan - AFC Urgent Care of South Plainfield.
College and Career Fair Presenters-Local 825, Local 68, UA Local 24, Local 254, Local 456, Prudential Financial, Trane US Inc., Costco, Pepsi, Montclair State University, Monmouth University, Seton Hall University, Berkeley College, Middlesex County College, AIMS Education-Healthcare Training Institute of NJ, Lincoln Tech, Conrail-Consolidated Rail Corporation, Elizabethtown Gas Company, NJ American Water, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., and St. Peter’s University Hospital.
Our high school students greatly benefited from all of the volunteers who contributed to this day. Their participation and dedication combined with the eagerness of our students made the event a first of many to come.