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Draper Journal

Canyons’ high schools, tech center give students boost to employment

Jun 02, 2023 10:29AM ● By Julie Slama

Alta High senior Drake Larsen was heading to check out the school job fair shortly before graduation.

“It’s a good opportunity to explore the different careers available, both for a summertime job and for a position I could have while attending college, maybe one in my intended field,” he said.

Larsen, like many other students at Canyons School Districts’ five comprehensive high schools and Canyons Technical Education Center, could check out the job and further educational opportunities at each school’s job fair, held in April and May before the end of the school year. For some, it may have been their ticket to employment.

“We organize the job fair to benefit our students and local businesses,” said Janet Jefferson, Alta High’s work-based learning facilitator. “Some of our students are needing or wanting a summer or part-time job. At the job fair, they get to see what jobs are available to them, talk to potential employers in an informal setting and explore future career opportunities. The businesses need workers, and they can share their job opportunities with a large number of potential employees at one time.”

She said that it’s been a positive experience not only for students, but for businesses as well.

Booths ranged from Megaplex Theatres to Chick-fil-A, and from Cyprus Credit Union to Salt Lake County. Jobs were available from TKJ, which provides support professionals for people with disabilities; Canyons School District; Sandy City; and others.

At another Alta High job fair booth, Collectiv Academy offered students an option to get an education in hairdressing, barbering and cosmetology. Admissions Director Samy Rash said the school concentrates on teaching the students skills in cutting, coloring and styling while gaining hands-on practice with local clientele.

“We help them get their licensing and we get them prepared for the industry,” he said. “The thing that makes us a little bit different from most cosmetology schools is while they teach you a little bit about everything, our school prepares students to know the skills, pass the certification and help them be more marketable so hopefully, they can get a job.”

Academy Director Alexys Campbell said that Collectiv offers students an alternative to a traditional post-secondary experience.

“We want to make sure that people know that you don't have to do a conventional college to be successful,” she said. “Being a cosmetologist is not necessarily something to fall back on, but an option to pursue as a passion and realize it’s a career that is actually feasible.”

Avery Stott graduated from Alta High in 2020 and recently completed the program.

“I enjoy what I’m doing; it’s a passion of mine and what I wanted to do,” she said.

Similar to the high schools, CTEC had booths staffed with job recruits from places such as Salt Lake County Sheriff, Code Ninjas, Dimple Dell Recreation Center, Geneva Rock, Sandy City Fire and more.

Recent Alta High graduate Slater Douglas was talking to CTEC students as a recruiter for Maxim Healthcare Services. He was looking for people who are 18 years old and up who would want to help patients in their own homes, many of those who may have disabilities.

He said CTEC was a perfect opportunity to reach students who were completing the school’s health programs such as EMT or certified nursing assistants. Others who are interested, could enroll in Maxim’s intensive program to be certified, he said.

“We’re looking both for summer help as well as those who want permanent jobs with a competitive pay,” Douglas said. “We’re looking for those candidates who want to help people and be in the field they’re passionate about.” λ