Career Fair Helps Norwich Tech Students Make Choices
Originally Posted in the Norwich Bulletin
By Ryan Blessing
NORWICH — Norwich Technical High School culinary students listened closely as they learned that there’s a specific class just about fish.
“You learn to scale the fish, gut the fish and ID the fish,” Culinary Institute of America representative Shawn Dickensheets told the sophomores at the fifth annual Norwich Tech career fair, held Tuesday at the school.
“Your final (exam) in that class, they put the fish out and you walk around and have to say, ’That’s a flounder,’” Dickensheets said. “But the chef will trick you and put a yellow dot underneath so if you don’t pick it up, you won’t know it’s a yellow pineapple flounder, and you get it wrong.”
The institute was one of 52 employers and schools on hand for the career fair, which was open to students in all grade levels.
“Our kids in the trades really wanted to engage with employers,” school social worker Jaime Miller said. “For me, it was also about them learning to talk to employers and the social aspect of that, because kids today really struggle with that.”
At a table for Hair Cuttery, students Karagan Jones, of Chaplin, and Ashlee Cardin, of Scotland, said they were interested in hairdressing.
“We’re going to go to all the booths,” Jones said. They also take salon classes at Norwich Tech.
Hair Cuttery has more than 1,000 locations, including several in Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, district leader Tabitha Simons said. It’s a good avenue for students just starting their careers, she said.
“It’s still growing, still opening,” she said. “We get lots of interest from students, especially ninth grade when they’re just figuring out what they want to do.”
Davon Watson, a culinary student, said as a sophomore he doesn’t have a favorite dish to make yet. He’s still learning the basics.
“We’re still getting the hang of everything. It can get difficult in some parts,” he said.
Other employers at the fair included the region’s two tribal casinos, all branches of the armed forces, broadband cable and internet providers and several social service agencies.