Area high school students take part in annual career fair

MARSHALL – Students got to learn about their future college and career options in a fun atmosphere Tuesday morning at Southwest Minnesota State University

For the past 10 years, hundreds of businesses, agencies and volunteers have collaborated to provide a career exploration day for more than 1,800 high school sophomores from around the region. The 2013 Southwest Minnesota Career Expo also took place today at Minnesota West Community and Technical College-Worthington campus.

Cameron Macht, a regional analyst from the Minnesota Workforce Center, and Shannon Fiene from Minnesota West conducted a fun and informational career game show that provided valuable information to students about post-secondary education and career choices.

Students were selected to represent their schools to answer multiple choice questions on information important to their future such as the cost of college and fast-rising jobs.

Many students indicated with a show of hands that they assumed colleges such as SMSU and Minnesota West were costlier than they actually are.

“College isn’t as expensive as I thought it was,” said Marshall High School sophomore Bailey Archbold after the presentation.

Many students thought that SMSU, for example, costs around $30,000 a year to attend rather than the actual sum of $8,000. Macht pointed out that the figure was just the cost to attend and didn’t take into consideration the cost of books or room and board.

The students learned that the most jobs can be found in the health care industry and crop production was the fastest growing industry.

Marshall High School sophomore Sarah Palme learned that there was “a lot more options for jobs than I imagined.”

Macht provided website names such as and where the students could get more information.

After the college and career presentation, the students walked to the R/A facility where 50 to 60 interactive exhibits were set up staffed with representatives from industry, colleges and agencies.

“It’s really cool that they put all this together,” said Palme.