Connect with us


Wheeling Park High School Holds CTE Reverse Job Fair



Photo by Derek Redd

Kalkreuth Human Resources Manager Payten Gibson, middle, talks with Wheeling Park High School CTE seniors Ayden Cutlip, right, and Houston Schreiber during a reverse job fair Wednesday morning at WPHS.

Wheeling Park High School career and technical education students participated in a job fair at the school Wednesday morning, but the format was a bit different than what they’re used to.

Instead of the businesses setting up stations at the school to sell the students on why they’d want to come work for them, the businesses were still at their stations, but it was the students coming to them and selling the businesses on why they’d want to hire them.

The “reverse job fair” format is a useful one for those wanting to enter the workforce, WPHS teacher Don Headley said. It forces the students to break out of their shells, to polish their interpersonal communication skills and to be proactive in talking to prospective employers.

“Absolutely, it’s going to make them more job ready,” he said. “A lot of kids today, with all the texting and phones and the technology, they’re not very good at communication skills. So we try to break that barrier and show them how to present themselves.

“It does make a difference in your appearance, the way you act and the way you communicate with people,” Headley added.

Senior Rae’Lynn Jones admits she’s one of those students who isn’t the most comfortable going up to people and striking up a conversation. But she’s eager to get to work when she graduates from Wheeling Park, so she feels this exercise will do nothing but assist her in those endeavors.

“I have to be able to communicate with (prospective employers),” she said. “And I have to tell them about myself and ask questions. I have to show interest in the jobs and not just stand in the back.”

Businesses and trade groups that attended Wednesday included Straub Automotive, Shults Ford, Jennmar, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, Middletown Tractor, Ironworkers Local 549 and the Partners and Allied Trades International Union. They agreed that giving students the opportunity to speak up and promote themselves now will only help later when they start looking for jobs.

“Communication is huge in whatever position you’re in,” said Payten Gibson, human resources manager for Kalkreuth. “So students showing that they can effectively communicate and what their interests are and what they’re looking for is a huge step into the world of working. So that’s great.”

Headley said Wheeling Park’s CTE program has used this format in past job fairs, and will continue to make adjustments to it to even better prepare the students.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Continue Reading