John Saxon was there to revive an industry.
Sgt. First Class Andre Jackson came to recruit.
Welder Tommy Lyles talks to Evans High School students during career day. Fourteen people spoke to the teen-agers Tuesday about their jobs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Ralph Barbee - a professional fisherman - took the opportunity to promote a career in the outdoors.
It was career day at Evans High School - a day designed for area professionals to go scouting and present possibilities to high school students.
Tuesday's events drew representatives from severalfields, who visited classes and talked about the future.
"Our objective today is to expose our students to as many different vocations as possible," said Chris Segraves, an assistant principal. "Those that require a college degree and those that don't necessarily require a college degree."
Despite the nation's current economic slump, Saxon - who works at Columbia Paint and Body - told students that automobile collision repair is in desperate need of new technicians.
The need is so bad, he told them, that he has been seeking support for an apprentice program at schools in Columbia and Richmond counties.
"This is one of the first times we've talked to the students," he said. "We're not looking for everyone to be (a collision repair technician), but we just need to keep it going. Within five years, we're going to have a definite shortage."
The problem, he said, is that fewer high school students are going into the trade, adding that "most parents want their children to be doctors, lawyers and nurses."
Columbia County deputy Randy Matthys laughs with Evans High School students during a conversation about a career in law enforcement.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Saxon said those participating in the apprentice program - which would involve students working at his shop in the afternoons - would have to finish high school. He said the program could be started in about three or four months. Five students in a class of 15 said they were interested.
Meanwhile, a few classrooms away, recruiters from the Army spoke to teen-agers.
Sgt. First Class Jackson, who works at the Army Recruiting Station in Evans, showed students a film on basic training and told them that as members of the Army Reserve they would receive an income of at least $433.96 a month, working just 38 days a year for six years.
"You're not going to find many part-time jobs like that," he said.
Then, there was Barbee's class on professional fishing.
Barbee, a Columbia County resident, displayed fishing techniques and provided students information on how to become a tournament competitor.
"You can win as much as $100,000 at some bass tournaments," he said.
Barbee also taught students a lesson that he said was applicable on the lake and in life. He called it persistence.
"You don't always catch a fish every day," he said.
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