Valley Journal

Hundreds consider employment opportunities

PABLO – Many job opportunities were available at the Salish Kootenai College Career Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

About 350 people attended the event including local high school students thinking about their futures. There were students from Mission, Polson, Charlo, Ronan, Two Eagle River and Valley Christian, along withabout 80 venders set up to talk about different employment opportunities.

Charlo High School junior Brady Fryberger walked through the career fair and collected information from several of the venders, and he attended a few presentations.

“I’m totally lost in what I want to do when I finish high school, but that is why I’m here,” he said.

He found a lot of information about jobs in the outdoors, which is the direction he is leaning towards, and it’s a good direction to go in because the field is going to need more employees.

SKC Forestry professor Adrian Leighton said there will be a lot of job openings in natural resources in the future including fire management and especially forestry. He said there will be a “big gap” between upper level management positions and entry level positions after the baby boomer generation retires, which are people born about 1946-1964.

Martha Robertson, HOSA-Future Health Professionals state director, sat at her booth and encouraging people to follow a career path in healthcare. She said the healthcare industry is also facing a need for employees.

“We won’t have enough people to fill the vacancies when the baby boomers retire,” she said.

CSKT Division of Environmental Protection Manager Michael Durglo said many jobs are open to people that go to college and get a degree in things like environmental science including water quality, air quality, and shoreline protection.

“We need people to get an education and fill those jobs,” he said.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell was at the event talking to people wanting to go into law enforcement. He said his department doesn’t have a job opening at the moment, but they are always taking applications for the future, and he talked about how people can get involved in law enforcement. He said the Lake County Search and Rescue team is always looking for volunteers.

Many industries are considering future employees, and many jobs are currently available. S&K Technologies has job openings all over the country and close to home. Rocky Mountain Twist in Ronan has several job openings. SAFE Harbor has advocate positions open. Jobs are available with CSKT Early Childhood Services, and more.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has 166 immediate job openings across Montana for summer positions in the Aquatic Invasive Species program to inspect watercraft, and applications are available online or by calling the department.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was at the event and they have job openings in field operations. Assistant Area Port Director Bret C. Corneliusen said people can find employment inspecting the goods that come into this country.

“We came to this and other job fairs and we see a lot of high school kids,” he said. “It’s good for them to find out about what jobs are out there.”

Great Falls Chief of Staff for Homeland Security Ken Huber added that people needed to go through a training program to work for Customs and Boarder Protection.

The National Security Intelligence agency was at the event encouraging people to get degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to help with things like cyber defense and foreign language analysis because they have many job openings.

Montana Job Service has about 150 jobs currently open in Lake County with free services in resume writing and developing interviewing skills. Information is available online at Polsonjobs.MT.gov.

“Come see us on Main Street in Polson,” said Lynn Lagerquist, employment specialist. “We have a lot of summer jobs coming up soon.”

SKC Director of Career Services Lennie Webster said the college has put the fair on every year for more than a dozen years and this was the best turnout, so far.

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