Manhattan High hosts Apprenticeship Fair

Emma Elliott, Staff Writer

Businesses throughout Manhattan are partnering with Manhattan High for the second year in a row to bring students the Apprenticeship Fair.

The event, which was set up by sophomore principal Michael Dorst  and counselor Katie Ball is about bringing job opportunities to students who don’t plan to go to a post-secondary school.

“National state local data is saying that 70% of all current future jobs are going to require post-secondary school,” Dorst said. “So [Manhattan High] has done a great job of focusing on that, even focusing the whole spectrum to include military service, one year certifications and training and tech schools, but what about that other thirty percent?”

While this 30% may include entry level jobs, a large portion are well-paying jobs that don’t require college.

Dorst and Ball went to the little theater during advisory last week to meet with seniors who would benefit from the fair and prepared them by going over elements that would be discussed at the event, such as interview skills and resumes.

Ball expects about 40 businesses and sixty students to attend in total, as other smaller schools from around the region were also invited, such as Wamego, Rock Creek, Riley County, Blue Valley, Randolph and Junction City.

“There are a lot of businesses around Manhattan that need employees,” Ball said. “We have a really low employment rate in Manhattan, which is actually bad for businesses because they don’t have enough people to work the jobs that they need, and these students want to work.”

This year, they have consciously decided not to focus on retail and food, as the salary for the  entry level for food service is not as high as that of the businesses in attendance last year.

“We looked for companies that not only earn individuals a living, but earn a living and have benefits offered to them, such as dental and health insurance options, retirement and working their way up through the company,” Dorst said.

The goal of the Apprenticeship Fair is to offer opportunities to find work for students who wish to follow a different path.

“It’s not as neat and tidy for the students who don’t want college,” Dorst said. “ We’re doing our best to focus more on those students.”