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DPS Career-Readiness Fair Prepares Students for Careers

March 24, 2017

High school students from across Durham Public Schools learned key career-readiness skills, took part in mock job interviews and learned about community college courses that can lead to high-demand jobs during the annual Ready, Set, Go…Launch Your Career event held March 23 at the Hamner Conference Center.

The event targets juniors and seniors who plan to enter the workforce directly out of high school.

"Many students want or need to go to work right out of high school and, fortunately, we have companies interested in hiring work-ready young people for jobs that can lead to rewarding careers," said Ondrea Austin, lead workforce coordinator for DPS Career and Technical Education, who co-organizes the event. "This event connects our youth and employers, helping students hone their career-readiness skills and enabling employers to tap a valuable source of talent."

The event included a general session on communication skills and four focused workshops:

  • Mock Interviews – employers conducted interviews and provided feedback to students.
  • Dress for Success – students learned about the importance of professional dress and how to dress for interviews and work.
  • Career Fair – students met employers who are hiring for full-time, part-time and intern positions.
  • Durham Tech Registration and Special Programs – college personnel discussed the registration process and special programs targeting high-demand careers.

City of Medicine Academy junior, from left to right, Amaya Ruffin, Delasie Samuels and Gicari Davis talk with Megan Barlow, human resources director at Swim Club Management Group.

Industry participants included Auto Bell Car Wash, AW North Carolina, City of Durham Fire, Human Resources, Parks and Recreation, and Police departments, CT Wilson Construction, DoubleTree by Hilton, Duke University & Duke University Health System, Durham Bulls, Durham County, Durham County EMS, Durham Technical Community College, Durham YouthWork Internship Program, Fidelity, Hilldrup, Hilton, Kimley-Horn, Made in Durham, U.S. Army, Air Force, Air Force Reserves, Marines, National Guard, and Navy, N.C. Department of Transportation, Swim Club Management of Raleigh and Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club.

The event space was provided through a generous donation from the N.C. Biotechnology Center.

DPS Career and Technical Education prepares students for careers and builds the workforce of tomorrow. For more information, visit  

Story courtesy of Made in Durham