PITTSBURG — Around 200 area upperclassman were introduced to post high school options at the Career and Technical Education Center of Crawford County on Wednesday morning.

The students interacted with roughly 30 different vendors representing higher education, first responders and other local businesses. Some students were excited about the free handouts while others used it as a platform to their future careers.

“The candy” is the best part, said Jasmine Floyd, a senior at Northeast High School.

Chandler Jackson, a senior at Southeast High School, took to heart a conversation with Randy Timi, a professor in the school of construction at Pittsburg State University.

Jackson plans to attend PSU in the fall, and while he is undecided in his major, he is leaning towards a degree in the school of construction.

“A lot of students get jobs through the program,” Jackson said after his talk with Timi.

The professor said there is a misconception a in degree in construction means labor positions such as carpentry. Timi said the degree is valuable to achieving a construction management position.

“Those positions have opportunity for lots of money,” Timi said.

Other vendors included Fort Scott Community College, Watco Companies and Pitsco Education where students tried to use a robot to pick up a mini Crunch bar.

“It was really hard,” said Devan Gillis, a senior at Northeast.

Students also heard a short lecture from Jon Bishop, principal at Pittsburg High School. He spoke about employability skills and three things to be successful: Problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills.

“There are a lot of kids who are scared that they don’t know what they are going to go into right now,” Bishop said. “This gives them a chance to see what’s out there.”

From 9 a.m. till 11 a.m., students from Frontenac, Northeast, Pittsburg and Southeast interacted with different organizations. The annual event was put on by the Business and Education Alliance.

“Our goal is for students to be aware of options locally,” said Mindy Cloninger, chair of the career day committee. “There are a lot of viable options right here in Crawford County.”

— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at mstavola@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.