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Employers flock to Penn College Fall Career Fair

Employer participation at the Fall Career Fair reflected Pennsylvania College of Technology’s national reputation for producing real-world-ready graduates.

More than 235 companies, offering thousands of jobs and internships in a wide variety of fields, met with nearly 1,600 students throughout the daylong event, split between the college’s Bardo Gymnasium and Field House. An additional 217 employers were on the waiting list.

Job-hunting tomorrow makers enjoy convenient access to hundreds of prospective employers at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Fall Career Fair on Oct. 4. Career Services holds two such large-scale networking events each year, split between the Field House (shown here) and Bardo Gymnasium. (Photo by Becky J. Shaner, senior manager of donor relations and special events)
Job-hunting tomorrow makers enjoy convenient access to hundreds of prospective employers at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Fall Career Fair on Oct. 4. Career Services holds two such large-scale networking events each year, split between the Field House (shown here) and Bardo Gymnasium. (Photo by Becky J. Shaner, senior manager of donor relations and special events)

“We sold out the Career Fair in less than two days back in August. That’s the fastest we’ve filled all available spaces,” said Erin S. Shultz, career events manager. “The demand for our students and their hands-on technical skills is intense.”

The college’s overall graduate placement rate for 2020-21 was 96%.

Companies ranging from regional entities to Fortune 500 corporations offered opportunities related to the college’s mix of innovative majors in the schools of Engineering Technologies; Nursing & Health Sciences; and Business, Arts & Sciences.

“We’re here all the time. Over three quarters of my (16) employees are Penn College grads,” said Joel Nace, president of Delaware Valley Automation, a full-service internet of things master systems integrator. “We hire career people.”

Electrical, IT and HVAC students topped Nace’s recruitment list for this Career Fair.

“Building automation, HVAC, electrical, welding, diesel, heavy equipment and construction management seemed to be the most highly recruited majors,” Shultz said. “However, there were ample opportunities for all of our tomorrow makers.”

“You have a great student body. We’ve hired six people from here, and they’ve all done very well in six different jobs,” said Michael McGarry, national sales manager for TRAK Machine Tools, a market leader in CNC technology for small-lot machining and a Corporate Tomorrow Maker. “Penn College students come well-prepared and well-trained. They have a phenomenal background to get started.”

David Munn used his Penn College background in welding & fabrication engineering technology to become a materials and process engineer for Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. defense contractor. The 2013 alumnus represented the Corporate Tomorrow Maker at the Career Fair.

“We’re looking for interns and offering full-time opportunities,” said Munn, who secured two internships and a job via the Career Fair while a student. “I’m sure everyone says it, but the hands-on experience offered here is key. Talking with the students, they have asked a lot of good questions. They’ve shown that they did research before they came to the Career Fair.”

Aaron J. Swartz, a plastics & polymer engineering technology student from Blanchard, spent 90 minutes researching various companies. The senior obtained an internship from last year’s Career Fair and hoped this fall’s version results in interviews for full-time positions.

“This is awesome,” he said. “The college brings the employers to me. I don’t have to go out and look.”

Freshman Kai A. Powers, of West Pittston, studying welding & fabrication engineering technology, echoed Swartz’s enthusiasm.

HVAC and building automation students talk with a representative of Innovative Refrigeration Systems Inc., Lyndhurst, Va., in Penn College's Bardo Gymnasium. (Photo by Frank T. Kocsis III, student photographer)
HVAC and building automation students talk with a representative of Innovative Refrigeration Systems Inc., Lyndhurst, Va., in Penn College’s Bardo Gymnasium. (Photo by Frank T. Kocsis III, student photographer)

“I’m very grateful. This helps us find jobs before we leave college,” she said. “It’s very, very cool that they do this. It’s exciting. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people looking for welders.”

Like Powers, Eric M. Lauber sought an internship at the Career Fair.

“The opportunities here are insane. I’ve talked to 10 employers, and there are probably six or seven more I want to talk to,” said Lauber, of Monroeton, who is seeking associate degrees in building construction technology and concrete science technology.

Eighteen companies returned to campus the next day to interview 144 students for summer and full-time positions.

“We are thrilled with both student and employer participation at the Fall Career Fair,” said Shelley L. Moore, senior director of the Center for Career Design. “Each one seems to generate more interest, which speaks to the college’s commitment to applied technology education. We’re also excited to create alternative opportunities for many of the employers that were on the Career Fair wait list to engage with our students.”

The college is hosting Industry Days in November for those companies to meet with students in construction and engineering-related majors.

The college’s next Career Fair is scheduled for Feb. 28. Employers can reserve space for the event the second week of January.

For information on Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

– Photos by Frank T. Kocsis III, student photographer

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