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(Beloit, WI) Hillary Gavan, Beloit Daily News

Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) students will be able to learn about careers and educational opportunities during a hands-on and interactive career and college fair set for Sept. 24 from 8 - 11 a.m.

Businesses involved in manufacturing, construction, hospitality, healthcare, welding, information systems, graphics arts and more will be represented. The fair is designed to expose students to what career opportunities are available. The career portion of the event will be set up in the Barkin Arena. Businesses interested in signing up can still do so online at:

In the fieldhouse, Wisconsin Education Fairs (WEF) will be taking place, allowing students to talk to representatives from more than 100 post-secondary educational agencies. WEF includes in its participant list of all University of Wisconsin universities and centers, the state’s independent colleges and universities, Wisconsin technical colleges and many out-of-state institutions. In addition, many community colleges, trade schools and the national service organizations such as the armed forces are represented.

The fair is for all high school students as well as middle school students in the district enrolled in career and technical education classes.

Approximately 40 companies will be attending this year’s event, according to Ryan Rewey, the district’s career and technical education director.

Many of them will do hands-on activities. Last year, for example, Corporate Contractors, Inc., (CCI) was hosted an interactive activity where students competed to drill a screw into wood the fastest. The winners of each round were then entered into a drawing for an iTunes card.

Some of the new companies on board this year include Fairbanks Morse, Starbucks and SSI Technologies.

“We are fortunate that people are coming to us and want to work with us,” Rewey said.

Rewey said the goal is to eventually give companies students through its youth apprenticeship program.

“Those companies need workers and we have an avenue for them through youth apprenticeship,” Rewey said.

Rewey is working with SSI and Fairbanks Morse to create curriculum.

Youth apprenticeship is a work-based learning opportunity for students where they simultaneously earn college and high school. They leave school during the day to gain experience at area companies.

“The goal is students who are interested in manufacturing or trades to have a work-based learning opportunity,” Rewey said.

The district already works offers youth apprenticeships with students getting experience at Scot Forge Finley Dencker, ARAMARK and Frank Bouchet in Janesville.

Interest in the career and technical education continues to grow at BMHS.

In 2013-2014 students enrolled in the Project Lead the Way engineering classes was 38, and it grew to 57 in 2015-2016; information technology went from 54 students to 90 students; automotive grew from 62 students to 186 students; welding grew from 89 to 192 students; and construction grew from 33 students to 215 students.

On Sept. 10, the Assembly Speaker’s Taskforce on Youth Workforce Readiness held a public hearing with invited speakers from various entities across the state including the School District of Beloit’s Superintendent Tom Johnson, the district’s career advocate Lindsay Healless and Rewey. The three testified on how BMHS transformed its career and technical education space and programming to provide college as well as career readiness to students.

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