JAY — High school students from Jay and Central came together to see what kind of career offerings are available in the local area at the 2019 Jay High School College and Career Expo.

“This year we invited students form Central to join us for the expo,” said Rhett Rowell, coordinator of the event for the fourth year.

The Jay Lions opened their gym to 25 to 30 recruiters from various companies and the military services.

The Florida Department of Corrections comes out every year, said Lt.Paul Pollack.

“If you can meet the physical requirements, we can offer the candidate a 12-week school, firearms training, some medical training and training on cell searches,” Pollack said. “We have many institutions around the state that correctional officers can work at once qualified.”

The Escambia River Electric Cooperative was offering a variety of jobs. If you do not have experience the company can provide in-house training.

The United States Military had recruiters at the event as well. The Marine Corps, the Air Force and the Army were all looking for students to fill their ranks. Some students had to pump out push-ups in order to get special promotional giveaways.

Vocational schools were also on hand for those students who want to certify a skill and start making money right away. The length of training varies by the skill you want to have. Generally, the certification process is not as long or expensive as a traditional college or university.

A company called Lincoln Tech is a vocational college that specializes in auto and diesel mechanics based out of Nashville, Tennessee, attended the expo to talk to local students.

Two- and four-year academic institutions were looking for students that want to take the time and get a degree before they being a career.

Shelby Balk, an 18-year-old senior, said she was interested in criminal justice and had talked with the Florida State University representative. She also spoke with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office about what they could offer.

Makayla Penton, another senior accompanying Balk at the Expo, said she wanted to be an ultrasound technician and will likely attend Pensacola State College because it would only take her one to two years for her training.