Skilled Trades Exhibition opens students’ eyes to career paths – Business Journal Daily

CANFIELD, Ohio – Working in the trades has been on Emma Lynn’s radar.

The 15-year-old Sebring McKinley High School student was one of thousands of students in grades 7-12 who attended the first day of the The Mahoning Valley Skilled Trades Expo was held at the Canfield Fairgrounds on Wednesday.

Her skills were tested at the booths of Bricklayers and Tilers Local 8 and the Ohio Laborers Union, opening her eyes to options she had not previously considered with masonry and surveying work. .

Lynn, who adds if she will pursue a culinary career if she doesn’t enter the trades, says the tasks were a bit overwhelming.

“It’s really difficult,” she said. “It’s definitely a skill that takes time.

On Wednesday, students from Mahoning, Columbiana and Portage counties visited exhibitor booths across the exhibition grounds. Students from Trumbull County, as well as Mercer and Lawrence Counties in Pennsylvania, will have their chance during Thursday’s session from 8:30 am to 2 pm.

Rob Eggleston, senior guidance counselor at the Eastern Ohio Educational Services Center, expects 2,500 students every day. In 2019, the inaugural one-day event drew over 4,500 people. The exhibition was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By dividing the exhibit into two days, it gives students more one-on-one time with exhibitors for hands-on experiences, says Eggleston.

“There are actually kids in there laying bricks right now,” he says. “It’s a really nice flow.

On Wednesday afternoon, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a session for adults.

The Business Journal will have continuous coverage of the Mahoning Valley Skilled Trades Expo. Check back throughout the week for stories and videos from the two-day event.

Gary Hartman, director of association services for the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pa., Hopes the Skilled Trades Expo will raise awareness of trades in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.

Currently, 500 students are enrolled in local pre-apprenticeship programs, he says. He hopes to see that number increase with exposure to this week’s show.

“I hope that in six months, they will be looking for this job opportunity,” says Hartman. “If it educates them and gives them the opportunity to take a different path if they’re not comfortable going to college… that’s a victory.

Aiden St. Clair, a 16-year-old from Struthers High School, aspires to be a professional boxer, but sees the trades as a possible fallback plan. Besides a boxing career, he plans to go to college.

Wednesday morning’s event gives him the opportunity to explore local trades.

“If I had to do a trade, I would do something like a carpenter or an electrician,” he says.

Pictured: Michael Brobst, left, an instructor from the Ohio Laborers Union, shows surveying tools to students at Sebring McKinley High School, Emma Lynn, center, and Emma Seevers, right, at Mahoning Valley Wednesday Morning Skilled Trades Expo at Canfield Fairgrounds

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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