A one-week postponement did not deter 60 businesses and manufacturers from taking part in the second annual Find Your Path on Wednesday in the Mexico Athletic Center.

The event was coordinated by Partners for Employment and Education Coalition and the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce. The event was originally scheduled Feb. 20, but winter weather led to the delay. The Find your Path event was held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Students explored career options from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. and then the event switched to a career expo open to the public at 3:30 p.m.

Participation surpassed the 50 businesses at last year’s event, said Chamber Executive Director Dana Keller. The event not only allowed students from eighth through 12th grade to interact with businesses from the area and state, but also allowed students to practice interviewing skills, said Mexico Education Center Director Kerri Ferrari.

“(The event) give students an opportunity to learn about careers and education they will need. Some learn about careers they would not have otherwise known,” Ferarri said.

The students were all asking pretty good questions, said Alan Northcutt with PermaJack Mid-Mo LLC of Mexico, a foundation repair contractor.

“They asked about the type of work skills they would need. We can hire right out of high school since we are a construction company,” he said, adding it is a bonus if an employee were to join the company with heavy equipment certification.

Students were drawn to N-Line Industrial sales, a laser equipment supplier from Overland Park, Kansas. Dan Hunt demonstrated some of its laser alignment equipment. The equipment and tablet has a video game appearance, he said. The alignment tool is used at power plants, on rotary equipment and anywhere equipment needs to be aligned within a thousandth-of-an-inch, he said.

Each represented business also had special tags on the table that listed the different positions in their operations, Keller said. A manufacturer needs people in its communication departments, or students interested in accounting could work in a company’s accounting department, she said.

“(FInd your Path) gives them a more realistic idea of what translates to employment,” she said. “It gives them a better understanding of the capacity of careers choice.”

Students asked questions to learn about the skills and education necessary for a career in certain field, Keller said. They went to different stations filling out BINGO cards to win prizes like laptop computers or cameras.

      View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Mexico Ledger (@themexicoledger) on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:59am PST