By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN A collaboration between Lester Prairie School and local businesses has resulted in a career fair that will take place in the school gym Thursday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to help students find a summer job or a future career.
Students in grades 6 to 12 will be allowed to attend the event during their social studies class time, lunch period, or enrichment classes.
Representatives from local businesses will have tables set up in the gym. Students will be able to meet the representatives and ask questions.
The school also plans to have a speaker meet with students in the upper grades to discuss how to approach businesses, prepare a resume, fill out employment applications, and more.
Superintendent Jeremy Schmidt said the idea for the career fair was brought up during a Lester Prairie Business Association (LPBA) meeting.
The association unites and invites all local businesses for monthly meetings to increase awareness of businesses, discuss city-wide promotional opportunities, and provide educational opportunities for businesses.
Schmidt said he believes this is the first time the school has offered an event like this. He said he hopes to make it an annual event.
He noted it may be scheduled earlier in the year in the future to provide more opportunities for students.
“The goals of the job/career fair are numerous,” Schmidt said. “First, we are looking at providing our current students with opportunities to meet with area businesses who are in need of summer or part-time employees (probably the main reason we need to think about moving up the date).
“Second, we would like to create an opportunity for our students and businesses to create a relationship that shows students there are many opportunities for multiple careers in our area.”
He said he hopes it will also provide opportunities for students interested in starting their own businesses to witness multiple successful small businesses started by former Lester Prairie graduates.
“Finally,” Schmidt said, “it is a wonderful opportunity for the community and school to continue to foster a strong relationship that benefits not only the students, but the members of the community.”
As of press time, the businesses signed up for the fair included:
• Riteway Conveyors
• Lester Buildings
• Paul McBride Funeral Chapel, and
• Herald Journal Publishing.
Schmidt said the school hoped to add more businesses before the event.
Businesses can call school counselor Christine Mattson at (320) 395-3002 for more information or to participate in the fair.
“The school is excited to be able to continue to bridge the relationship between community leaders, our staff, and our students,” Schmidt said. “This really is a win-win situation for everyone involved and I expect it to grow each year. The LPBA has a large number of businesses both large and small, and it would be great for our students and staff to get a chance to see all that Lester Prairie and the surrounding areas really have to offer.”
LPBA President Troy Feltmann echoed Schmidt’s comments.
He said the job fair might help students find a summer job, but, more importantly, the business association hopes the event will show students they don’t have to leave town to find a good job after graduation. Feltmann said there are plenty of good jobs at companies in a variety of industries right in Lester Prairie.
The business association hopes students will take advantage of the opportunity to learn about companies close to home.