ShareThis Page

Fox Chapel Area job fair presents opportunities

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

Of the 64 organizations at Fox Chapel Area High School's opportunities fair, Susan Yakim may have had the best pitch.

Yakim, who is with the moving company South Hills Movers, called out to passing students, “Seniors, I can get you away from your parents for the summer!”

It drew more than a little laughter.

Yakim said she was looking for students interested in working as movers during the summer on local, regional or national runs. Coming into a district like Fox Chapel Area and talking students into signing up for what can be hard, physical work isn't easy, she conceded.

“It is difficult,” Yakim said. “But a student can earn $5,000 over the course of a summer, and see the country at the same time.

“We're paying for everything you need out on the road, so you are actually banking $5,000 for college.”

That can sound pretty good to students like Taylor Huber, 18, a senior from O'Hara who plans to major in graphic design, possibly at Point Park University. He chatted with Yakim about employment for a few minutes.

“Maybe, possibly — it's an option,” said Huber when asked if he was interested. “I'm just getting ideas.”

Getting ideas is what the fair was all about — from where to go to school, getting a summer job or signing up for volunteer work, said John Baxter, career development coordinator for the district.

He said that hopefully, students will find a school, job or volunteer work that is compatible with the career portfolio — a plan each student starts preparing in ninth grade and then works on each year.

“I think it's good that they have opportunities for all the students, not just those who have an academic focus,” said Frank Lou, a 10th-grader from Fox Chapel.

Lou said he is planning for a career in medicine and hopes to land some volunteer work with a hospital.

At the time he spoke, he was waiting for a friend who was having an in-depth conversation with Ron Stefaniak of Apollo, who represented the Cement Masons Union. Stefaniak not only talked to students about masonry apprenticeships but careers in 18 building trades.

“There's enough diversity in the school here that not everyone wants to go to college,” Stefaniak said. “We offer an apprenticeship: The schooling is free; they only have to pay for their tools.

“If we don't get the word out, these young people aren't going to know,” he said. “We want them to know they can have a good living in the building trades.”

Katie Bischak manned a table for Triangle Tech, one of at least 10 business or technical schools at the fair.

“I don't know if they realize the good opportunities we have,” Bischak said.

But colleges still had an appeal to a lot of the young fair-goers, and one of those represented was Community College of Allegheny County.

Jim Bender of CCAC said he talked to a lot of students at the fair about what his school can offer.

“We have something for everybody,” Bender said. “You can't match our prices. If you look at everything we do, it's the quality and the affordability.”

Affordability is one reason Dan Yarmoski, 17, a senior from O'Hara, plans to attend CCAC. He talked with Bender about the timetables for matters like registering for classes.

Yarmoski said he plans to attend CCAC for two years and then transfer credits to the University of Pittsburgh to get a degree in information science and technology.

“My parents aren't going to be able to pay for much, so it's going to be on me,” Yarmoski said in talking about CCAC's affordability. “I got into Pitt and I got into Robert Morris; it's just that I didn't have the money.”

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.