Students see career possibilities at technical college event

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2012



RESERVE – Students like Destrehan High School senior Nick Griffin will soon have some decisions to make when it comes to continuing his education at the next level.

Graduating in May, Griffin said he is examining all of his options as he considers his advancement into college, which is part of the reason why he, along with dozens of other area high school students, were in attendance Tuesday evening for South Central Louisiana Technical College’s annual Career Link Open House at the school’s Reserve campus.

“I think I’m still deciding if this is where I want to be for the next two to four years,” Griffin said. “There are lots of good jobs in this area, and I know taking classes here could help me.”

Cindy Poskey, chief facilities officer for the technical college system, said the Career Link program helps to educate area students and their parents on career paths and job opportunities available in the River Parishes and also shows students what they need to do in the classroom to achieve their goals.

“It’s not just a job fair,” Poskey said. “Members of our faculty were also out giving students advice and showing them what they can accomplish with a technical education. It’s a ‘one-stop shop’ for parents and students to show them where the jobs are and what they need educationally to get those jobs. There are some significant companies here that have jobs available.”

Ken Lambert, a learning administrator for Shell Chemical’s Norco refinery, one of the industries on hand Tuesday, said there is a growing number of jobs in the petrochemical industry that are becoming available thanks to recent expansions at some of the area plants.

“We are starting to look for that younger generation to take over,” Lambert said. “The gates are open, and there are very good jobs out there in the field for students who are qualified, and many of the local sites look to recruit locally.

The technical college plays a valuable role in that.”

Poskey said invites were sent out to the parents of more than 1,500 high school students in St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles parishes.

She said students at all grade levels were invited to attend.

“The invites actually went to the parents rather than the students so that they could see what we were trying to accomplish,” Poskey said. “It is the parents that can be most influential in helping students make a decision about continuing education. We also wanted to hit all students, not just the juniors and seniors, since it is never too early to start thinking about the next step.”