Lincolnview and SYNERGY juniors and seniors participated in the thirds annual Lincolnview Career Fair where they were able to talk to several of the 43 businesses in attendance. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Lincolnview and SYNERGY juniors and seniors participated in the thirds annual Lincolnview Career Fair where they were able to talk to several of the 43 businesses in attendance. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

MIDDLE POINT – On Thursday, juniors and seniors from Lincolnview and SYNERGY got an opportunity to speak with representatives from local businesses during the third annual Lincolnview Career Fair. The fair featured 43 different businesses ranging from manufacturing to agriculture to health care to business professionals to media and more.

“We require all of our juniors and seniors to participate,” said High School Principal Brad Mendenhall. “We have an expectation that they speak to several of the businesses.”

Students were provided a list in advance of the businesses that would be in attendance. Students were also required to build a resume, which they prepared with the help of their English teachers, and to prepare questions to ask each business.

“We have a variety of different [businesses], and I think we have something for everybody,” said Mendenhall. “The response that we always get every year is excellent.”

The goal of the career fair is to show students what jobs are available in Van Wert as well as to prepare students for job interviews and professional conversations.

“My first job interview was just a few days before my wedding, and I didn’t know what I was going to do,” said Mendenhall. “Talk about being nervous. The first time I had to have an interview, when I knew I was getting married shortly and didn’t know what I was going to do, was a lot of pressure.”

“Giving them this experience will help develop some of that comfort level of speaking to professionals,” added Mendenhall. “In addition, it will allow them to see what is available in our area with an ultimate goal of having them come back and live in our community.”

The career fair is also an opportunity for students who are looking to go straight into the workforce to see what is immediately available to them.

“College is important to a lot of kids, but for a lot of kids, it’s not the right thing,” said Mendenhall. “Even if ultimately college is the goal of a student that goes out of high school and gets a job, they can always go back to college. We want to make sure they see what’s available.”

Mendenhall said that Lincolnview feels it’s important they prepare students for the future after high school.

“We want to make sure that they have the ability to communicate,” said Mendenhall. “We want to make sure they have the ability to get a job and find local places that have those positions available.”