Eighth-graders from Jackson Memorial Middle School met potential, future employers during the school's annual Career Day Jan. 23. More than 50 local employers talked with students and answered questions at the event.

Eighth-graders from Jackson Memorial Middle School met potential, future employers during the school's annual Career Day Jan. 23. More than 50 local employers talked with students and answered questions at the event.

Desiree Lopez, school counselor and coordinator for the event, said there were many new employers and professionals setup this year. Several different types of engineers, representatives from the FBI and a professional photographer were among the new participants.

“There are a few more employers here this year than last year,” Lopez said. “We wanted to provide a wider variety of the different types of jobs for the students. There are also many returning employers here today. Some of the new employers include a school counselor, principal, school psychologist, a preschool owner and a clinical counselor along with a couple of different types of engineers.”

Before the event, counselors meet with the students to lead them through an online program called Ohio Career Information System which allows the students to rank their level of interest in particular activities. The students received a printed list of careers that match their interests which helps guide them to the table setups and employers that match their career list.

There were several educational providers at the event including all of the career and technical programs offered at Jackson High School, Walsh University and Malone University. Jackson Township police and fire departments had tables.

Katrina Barton, a general manager at Belden Village Mall who also serves as a school board member, was at the event with Gina Bannevich, the mall’s marketing director. They both talked with students on a variety of topics including preparing now for a future career.

“My advice today for students thinking about any type of career is to plan to start at the bottom and work their way up,” Barton said. “We both told students that hard work and networking are vitally important to a successful career in any field. Education is also important. College isn't always the right path for everyone. As along as a person is willing to work hard and try hard, they can succeed with or without college.”

Barton suggested that students select a career with tasks and job duties that interest them. Students should pick a career they are going to love, Barton suggested.