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Merced County sophomores to explore career options

Yosemite High School student Ariajh Hicks, 16, left, learns the proper technique for chest compressions from Riggs Ambulance Service EMT Bryanna Turner, 19, of Merced, right, during the 2015 Merced County Office of Education’s annual Career Industry Day at the Merced County fairgrounds in Merced, Calif.
Yosemite High School student Ariajh Hicks, 16, left, learns the proper technique for chest compressions from Riggs Ambulance Service EMT Bryanna Turner, 19, of Merced, right, during the 2015 Merced County Office of Education’s annual Career Industry Day at the Merced County fairgrounds in Merced, Calif. akuhn@mercedsunstar.com

About 1,400 sophomores from Merced County high schools will have the opportunity next week to explore possible career paths.

Approximately 150 exhibitors representing an array of industries will be at the 19th annual Career Industry Day, organized by the Merced County Office of Education’s Regional Occupational Program/Career and Technical Education.

“They get an opportunity to hear firsthand of a wide variety of business,” said Janice Rogge, program specialist for the Merced County Office of Education. “They get a wider depth of knowledge for what their future is going to be like.”

There will be at least one person from 15 California Industry Sectors, such as agriculture, business, engineering, fashion, art and health science.

“They can talk to them and ask any question,” Rogge said. “It’s an opportunity to see more than what they (students) know is available.”

Rogge said sophomores will be exposed to the various jobs that are under one industry sector. For example, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office will feature 16 careers under law enforcement.

“Even if they don’t find out what they want to do in the future, they’ll have a wider view,” Rogge said.

It’s beneficial for sophomores to have exposure to career opportunities because it’s a good time for them to start figuring out what they’re good at and what they like, Rogge said, and how to use those interests to form a career.

In addition to career help, an inspirational speaker, Curtis Haley, will talk to students about leadership skills.

The Office of Education’s Career and Alternative Education Department will host the event at the Merced County fairgrounds on Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“There’s local opportunities students aren’t aware of that I hope they’ll be more enlightened to when they leave,” Rogge said.

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