Attendance and the number of businesses dipped a little, but the Fall Career Expo at Pittsburg State University was still a hit.

Attendance and the number of businesses dipped a little, but the Fall Career Expo at Pittsburg State University was still a hit.
Mindy Cloninger, director of PSU’s Career Services, said the fair had about 60 companies show up, which was slightly fewer than last year’s event.
The event drew a large crowd, which Cloninger said she believed was slightly up from previous years.
And the reason for that may be fears about the economy.
“Certainly with the economy the way that it is, students are taking the job search much more seriously,” Cloninger said. “We have a wonderful faculty who are telling students to come out early in their college careers, as freshmen or sophomores, to get familiar with the businesses before the students graduate.”
Cloninger said she was seeing an increase in the amount of construction and entertainment companies at the job fair.
“I think I’ve seen more construction this year than ever before,” Cloninger said. “Today we’re seeing a lot of folks looking for needs in the automotive sector, computer science, and so on.”
Despite slow commercial and housing construction, construction companies are doing very well. There is a great need for energy sources, through oil and gas sites, power plants, etc. Each of those must be built.
Businesses said career expos meant a great deal to their futures, but also said the attendance was a bit smaller than in other recent years.
“We’re growing,” said Mike Schafersman, operations engineer for Kiewit. “We expect to double in the next five years. This is how we find the majority of our interns is on recruiting trips. 95 percent of the people we hired last year were through places like this. It’s also important because it gets our company out there.”
But the most important part of the expo for local businesses is to introduce businesses to students and vice versa.
“They really have a great program here at Pitt State with great kids,” said Mattie Crossland, with Crossland Construction. “The kids that come out of here know what they’re doing and are ready to work hard in their jobs.”
Some students enjoyed coming out to the event for a chance to get internships, jobs, and other business opportunities. But some students get entertainment out of the event, too.
“I came up here because I wanted to talk to Toyota for an internship,” said Todd Chamberlain, auto tech sophomore. “I like coming and watching everyone scramble around looking for a job. All the freshmen don’t even dress up, they just come because they have to as a requirement for some classes.”

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.