by Kailyn Fournier
Volunteer State Community College Fall 2016 Career Fair will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Wesley Pickel Field House Gymnasium. Everyone is welcome, from the students at Vol State to the general job seeking community in the Sumner County area.
“It’s for the community at large…[and] supports the workforce development in Gallatin,” says Rick Parrent, who is one of the people in charge of organizing the Career Fair every year. After all, “Vol State Community College is a community college, it is a college for the community.”
There will be many booths there, with businesses ranging from the City of Gallatin to Tractor Supply offering jobs. The Gallatin Economic Development Agency alone will have over 80 openings, and even the Vol State Human Resources department will have a booth at the fair. As of Thursday, Sept. 8, 71 businesses had registered to be at the Career Fair.
“Many of the organizations are nonprofits, which is a great way to get… internships and work based learning,” says Parrent
Full-time, part-time, and seasonal job openings will be available. Interviews can also be scheduled at the event. “Every job fair, students get job offers and job applications,” says Parrent.
“I think if you don’t know what career you’re going into, it might be an interesting option to check out. I think I might go, because I still don’t know exactly what I want to do, even though I have an idea,” says student Hannah Hudson.
Situations like Hudson’s are fairly common. In fact, Parrent says the Career Fair is as much of an opportunity to explore the different careers available the community, as it is to get job offers.
Parrent also says that some of those students who did not know what they wanted to do for a career have been among those who have gotten job offers in the past.
There will also be an area at the event teaching soft skills to students and community members, such as how to communicate effectively, how to dress for success and how to network themselves.
This year the sponsor of the Career Fair is Steve Nichols who works at Lenny’s Sub Shop in Gallatin, Tennessee. Nichols has occasionally sponsored it, but has also had a booth and catered for the event in the past.
“When I was in college, it was difficult to know what I wanted to do,” Nichols says, “I hope that it opens some eyes to what is just around the corner.”
Though, Nichols says most of the credit should go to Parrent and the others who have worked so hard to organize it, he says, “I’m happy to be able to provide this opportunity.”
“Now is the time,” Parrent says. “Students need to make time and show up. The worst thing that could happen is that they do all this work and no one shows up.”
For more information on the Career Fair, the businesses that will be there, and the job openings that will be offered, go to www.volstate.edu/careerfair/.