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200 high school sophomores will converge on UMFK for Career Conference 2003

February 28, 2003

NR03033

More than 200 St. John Valley area high school sophomores will converge on the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Thursday, March 13, for a half-day conference designed to showcase the numerous career opportunities available to them.

St. John Valley Career Conference 2003, will feature presenters from more than 40 businesses throughout the county, and is a collaborative effort of UMFK, Maine Career Advantage, and the St. John Valley Technology Center.

The businesses involved in the conference will offer information to the students on 49 career fields from agriculture to wildlife biology.

Event coordinators plan the event to serve as a launching point for the students in career exploration. By introducing the sophomores to different occupations, the hope is they will find a career that interests them.

"This is an important conference because the students attending are beginning to think about what career field they will go into. They get to meet with practicing professionals from various businesses and organizations that let them know firsthand what their work involves," said Garland Caron, academic counselor at UMFK and one of the conference organizers.

The students select two career clusters and are divided into groups according to interest. Two or three presenters lead each group with a discussion about their chosen profession and what is required to enter the field. A second session will follow, which allows students to hear about a different set of occupations.

In addition to setting professional goals, the conference is designed to help the students set goals for higher education that will best prepare them for their future careers.

"Hosting this event on campus is a great way to demonstrate that a successful career comes with the proper education and training," said Caron.

Schools participating in Career Conference 2003 include SAD27 in the Fort Kent area, SAD33 Frenchville/St. Agatha, the Madawaska School Department, and the St. John Valley Technology Center in Frenchville.