Steven Butler, Student Services Coordinator at Muleshoe High School, wants students to be aware of all future career options available to them after graduation, so for the past five years he has organized a career fair at the high school. College or going straight into the work force are not the only options kids have, yet those tend to be the choices they consider after leaving high school. Young people don’t always realize that two-year colleges, junior colleges, technical and trade schools, and the armed services will prepare them for a successful career and stable income in their futures. While colleges and universities are certainly a good path to pursue, they are not the answer for everyone.
So this past Friday, December 9, students were given the chance to learn about forty-three possible career paths of interest to them. Mr. Butler wanted all students to begin thinking about and planning their futures after high school, so everyone participated: the seniors went first, followed by the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.
I had to smile at the tables full of backpacks as I entered the gym.
Students were free to wander around the many tables and visit those opportunities they found interesting. Muleshoe Classroom Teachers Association even had a booth to talk to future teachers and alert them to the scholarship available to education majors.
Caviness Beef, Prairie View Dairy, and Southwest Dairy Farmers had a booth, as did the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Pretty different kinds of career options, I would say.
Colleges were represented, too. Texas Tech University shared several options at several tables: Visual and Performing Arts; Human Science; Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions; College of Media and Communication; College of Education.
I caught Jacey Tomlin, Student Recruitment Representative for Texas State Technical College, between kids. TSTC offers a wealth of programs for students to earn degrees and certification for jobs requiring books and computers to hands-on skill sets like plumbing, electrical construction, pipefitting technology; something for everyone.
South Plains College had several tables of information on careers in Creative Arts, Law Enforcement, Welding, Music, CTE, and showed students how to receive dual credit through the college.
Local businesses were also on hand with information about opportunities here in Muleshoe: Bailey County Electric Coop; Bamert Seed Company; C&H Equipment; City of Muleshoe; K&K Pharmacy; Leal’s Restaurant; Prairie View Dairy; United Supermarkets; Western Equipment; Bailey County EMS; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge.
Several other area colleges were also represented: Wayland Baptist University; New Mexico Junior College, Clovis Community College; West Texas A&M University; West Texas A&M-Ag Science; Oklahoma Panhandle State University; Western Texas College.
Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) had a booth, as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Other technical training schools with varied programs leading to special certifications included Tulsa Welding School, Wyo Tech from Laramie, Wyoming, and Universal Technical Institute with several locations in Texas and Oklahoma.
Every job is important; every job has its place in the world of work to make the system run smoothly. And every student should be able to find one that fits their talents, interests, and gives them satisfaction. The career fair should help them find their niche.
Today: Muleshoe. Tomorrow; The World!
Thanks to Steven Butler for his help with this article.
For more information about any of the organizations that participated at the career fair, contact Steven at Muleshoe High School.