Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Cardinal hosts first career fair

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Apr 12, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo Bioprocessing program director Kim Dreaden of Indian Hills Community College demonstrates a bioreactor Wednesday during Cardinal High School’s career fair. A bioreactor is a machine that grows bacteria for use in antibiotics, biofuels, beer, wine, cheese and animal feed. Dreaden was one of 14 presenters at the career fair.

ELDON – Cardinal High School held its first ever career fair Wednesday when it hosted representatives from 14 businesses and organizations.

IowaWORKS, an agency that provides job search assistance, training and workshops, approached the school about putting on a career fair. The school gave IowaWORKS a list of employers to contact, and the agency arranged for their visit. The companies and agencies that responded included Indian Hills Community College, Army National Guard, Cargill, Cambridge Investment Research and Winger Contracting.



Instead of setting up booths in the gymnasium like many other career fairs, this one was more structured, where each business was assigned to a room and the students rotated from one room to another. The students listened to a presentation from a representative of that business for 20 minutes, then moved on to the next.

Brenda Stevens, school counselor and program director of Cardinal G.P.S. (which stands for Goals. Plan. Succeed), said the purpose of the fair was to expose students to careers they are unfamiliar with. She also hoped that by showing the students what careers are available locally, the students will be more inclined to stay in southeast Iowa after graduation.

Counselor Michelle Edwards said the fair introduces students to careers not yet on their radar.

“They probably recognize the presenter from the local bank in Eldon, but might not know what a bank does besides hand out money,” she said. “IowaWORKS has been a huge support. We’ll be able to collect a lot of feedback from the students and staff about how to make it better.”


Lydia Moses

Sophomore Lydia Moses had heard a presentation on aviation and another on diesel mechanics when The Ledger caught up with her. She has a few years left before she has to worry about a job, and said Stevens does a good job of educating the students about the career paths available to them.

“This career fair is a really good idea, and I love how Brenda is making sure all of us students are aware of opportunities around us,” she said. “It gives us more opportunities to talk with employers, and it expands our horizons more than having one set idea of what to do.”

Moses’s favorite subject is science, and has contemplated a career in biology. She has grown up on a farm, so working with animals is on her mind, too. Her older sister, Danae, is a student at Iowa State University, where she’s studying animal science.


Alexis Danger

Junior Alexis Danger said the one thing she’s certain about is that she wants a career that helps people.

“I want to be an advocate, to speak for the people who can’t speak for themselves,” she said. “My grandma worked at Tenco Industries in Ottumwa, and she inspired me a lot to help people.”

Danger’s older brother, Devin, is a senior. He’s in the welding academy at Indian Hills Community College, and will graduate with a welding certificate. He’s already got a job lined up after high school.

“I thought it was cool because in middle school, we got to weld one time,” she said. “It caught my interest, but I always thought it was a guy thing, not a girl thing.”

Danger is a cheerleader, and many of her fellow cheerleaders are taking nursing classes through Indian Hills in Fairfield to become a certified nursing assistant.

“The school has a lot of classes that help you with college and other opportunities,” Danger said. “I took ‘How to Be Successful in College’ through Indian Hills, and it taught me a lot of things about college and life in general.”

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