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Firms scout future employees at Company Day

September 22, 2010 12:00AM

V isit

We want to meet students, even when they're freshmen, so we can get to know who they become. "
~ Connie Goodnight, LaForge and Budd Construction Co. of Parsons
ing booths at the College of Technology's annual Company Day event Sept. 22, friends Lacey Johnson and Maricela Moreno weren't the typical students looking for ways to use their technology degrees.

But some would say that in a job market such as the one we've seen lately, these two students are ahead of the game.

Johnson and Moreno are interior design majors with minors in construction technology - a relatively new pairing at PSU that has merged complimentary coursework in two different departments to give design students opportunities to use their degrees in construction. For students, it means a broader knowledge of a compatible discipline as well as more job opportunities.

"It's kind of a relief to have this minor," said Johnson, who was attending Company Day for the first time. "We've handed out a lot of resumes and found companies who are offering great internships. The two areas overlap, and hopefully that will help us find jobs."

This year, Company Day - a career fair sponsored by the college as well as the Office of Career Services - welcomed nearly 80 companies. With a recovering job market, many of the 500 students who attended could be found communicating with employers about their number one concern: finding a job after graduation. Often, the response was positive.

"I think prospects for job-seekers are improving," said Connie Goodnight, who works in human resources and safety for LaForge and Budd Construction Co. of Parsons, a company celebrating its 50th year in business. "Our projects have been up, so we've had the opportunity to hire. Some companies are still struggling, but we're on the road to improvement."

Through Company Day, Goodnight said she hoped to find candidates for a project management position, part-time work, as well as several internships. By meeting employee prospects, she had a better idea of the company's future workforce.

"Companies that want to stay in business need to know who is out there, because you don't want to bid on a project if you can't man it," she said. "We want to meet students, even when they're freshmen, so we can get to know who they become."

As a 2000 PSU alum, sales engineering manager Dereck Renfro said returning to the College of Technology for Company Day was nostalgic, and that he's pleased to see the amount of professional, qualified job candidates.

"It's hard to find good people, so why not come to a place where they're studying the things we need?" said Renfro, who works for Charloma, Inc. in Cherryvale. "We're only 60 miles away, and we need to draw from PSU. It's the graduates who have the job skills along with the knowledge of the newest technology that we're hoping to meet. This is exactly where we need to be."

---Pitt State---

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