An abundance of career sectors were represented for CDSBEO intermediate and secondary students, who attended career fairs hosted at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School in Cornwall on April 2, and St. Michael Catholic High School in Kemptville on April 3. Students from all ten Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario secondary schools had the opportunity to visit one of the two events. The fairs aimed to help students learn about available career options, and to discuss opportunities and pathways with represented sectors.
CDSBEO Apprenticeship Coordinator Dan Lortie, and CDSBEO Experiential Learning Consultant Liz McCormick organized the events in partnership with the host schools, which included catering provided by the St. Matthew CSS Hospitality Class (Cornwall) and the St. Michael CHS Hospitality Class (Kemptville). Many community partners attended, as well as organizations offering career support services.
“These events are a great opportunity for students,” noted Shelly Byrne of CSE Consulting. “Just attending a career fair, and being able to experience what they have to offer at such a young age is amazing. I meet many adults who use our services that have never had the opportunity to visit a career fair.”
“The fairs really just give the students an opportunity to see what is available,” explained Liz McCormick. “To be able to ask questions, and delve a little deeper into career pathways is an important part of choosing next steps with education or apprenticeships. We are really hoping that perhaps this experience and these discussions will either spark interest in a new career, or give them the opportunity to ask important questions about a career they have been considering.”
“There is a big push for women in trades,” noted Dan Lortie. “This is something the Board has been working to promote for some time, and we are continuing this focus at the fairs. There is also a workshop for students offered at this event which provides more information for women interested in a career in trades.”
“It’s not just about exploring university or college. There is definitely a presence and promotion of post-secondary education, but there is also a good representation of other school to work, or school to apprenticeship options,” he continued.
Organizations including the Canadian Armed Forces, Sun Life Financial, St. Lawrence College, Career Lab VR (Virtual Reality) Employment and Education Centre, and Carpenters Union (Local 93) were on site to speak to students.
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario operates 39 elementary and 10 secondary schools across eight counties. The CDSBEO offers excellence in Catholic education through provincial-leading programs to approximately 12,800 students.