Minuteman High School hosted a career fair recently for its students and alumni, bringing them together with representatives from local companies and organizations that are seeking new employees with top-notch workplace skills -- as well as a high-caliber career and technical education which makes them job-ready from day one.
“The employer turnout was terrific,” said Minuteman Coordinator of Workforce and Economic Development Joseph Pitta.
In just four or five days, he recalled, 50 display tables had been snapped up.
“It filled up so quickly,” Pitta remarked.
The annual event was attended by about 200 students who were eager and ready to present their qualifications to a variety of local and regional companies and organizations including Acton Toyota of Littleton, Artisan Childcare Center, Back Bay Shutter Co., Inc., Dedham Country and Polo Club, Gentle Giant Moving Co., Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Mirrored Images Hair Design, Home Depot, and the US Army, Marine Corps and Navy, just to name a few.
The most in-demand professional skill sets, as aligned with the technical programs offered at Minuteman, were as follows, beginning with those in the greatest demand: carpentry and construction, culinary arts and hospitality, electrical wiring, health assisting, engineering, automotive technology, metal fabrication and welding, horticulture and landscaping, advanced manufacturing, and early education and teaching.
Thoroughly preparing students for the profession of their choice is “mission one of our priorities,” said Pitta. “We train students to get good jobs. Our employer partners want to hire them.” He noted that businesses contact Minuteman “all the time” looking for well-trained young people to fill staff openings.
“There’s a lot of opportunity out there that students can access through Minuteman,” he added.
Employers were at the Career Fair looking for individuals to hire for summer jobs and cooperative education jobs, along with seniors who will join the workforce upon graduating from Minuteman.
Pitta, who organized the event, said that when he put the word out inviting employers to participate, the response was swift and enthusiastic, an indication that desirable positions are currently open in numerous fields.
Opportunities exist for qualified candidates, but to land one, job seekers need to know how to present themselves to prospective employers, Pitta said. Resume writing, for example, is a fundamental topic that is addressed in the first half of Minuteman students’ junior year, he mentioned.
The school’s job board is a key resource. Launched four years ago with a database of approximately 150 employers, today it boasts over 1,100, many of whom got involved through positive word of mouth. The Minuteman job board also features 100 podcasts and a resume builder.
Minuteman helps students improve the basic traits that set them apart as qualified, mature, impressive young professionals, said Pitta -- being on time, arriving on the job prepared with the right tools and clothing, plus knowing how to shake hands, ask good questions in a job interview and take criticism well.
When it comes to taking a job at this point in their lives, he advised, the students should try to select a position that will allow them to develop into seasoned employees, not necessarily the one that pays the most.
“Money shouldn’t be that important right now,” Pitta explained. “It’s what you’re going to learn.”
Students now in the eighth or nibth grade in any member town may apply to Minuteman High School for the fall 2019, but will be placed on a waiting list. Applications for admission were higher than expected. Please visit www.minuteman.org and go to the Admissions tab on the home page.
Minuteman is less than two months away from moving into a $145 million facility that has been designed to support a robust college and career academy model. The academy model was adopted by staff and administration to create smaller “schools within a school” thereby promoting more personalized learning founded upon close relationships between students and teachers.
The Minuteman college and career academy model integrates rigorous academics with relevant technical programming in occupational areas providing individual economic opportunity. The new facility will accommodate project-based learning across disciplines, requiring students to learn how to work on a diverse team, solve problems and think critically. These are essential 21st-century skills that students practice and apply in a variety of school-based and work-based environments.
This news announcement was published Sunday, July 7, 2019.
FACEBOOK BOX: To see all images, click the PHOTOS link just below