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Industries Ready to Hire Meet Students Ready to Work


Luis Vinalay walked into the Kent Career Tech Center on April 29 prepared to find a job. Copies of his resume kept nice and clean in a fancy leather binder? Check.

Suit and Tie? The very one he wore to prom just a couple weeks earlier.

The impeccable manners of an entrepreneur? See for yourself.

“Thanks so much for your time,” Luis told Fox 17’s Amanda Moon as he shook her hand. “Can I give you my card?”

Luis was one of more than 2,000 high school students from throughout Kent ISD’s service area who visited the Kent Career Tech Center on April 29 for the 21st annual Business & Industry Expo. The full-day event attracted more than 80 employers, nearly twice the number of businesses as in previous years. Industries represented included healthcare, home improvement and construction, food service, trucking, retail and law enforcement, among others.

Denise Washington, KCTC’s work-based learning coordinator and technician, said some employers at the expo came ready to hire because the current demand for skilled workers has many employers actively seeking help. Students from that program who attended the event had prepared by writing their resumes, learning the proper etiquette for job interviews and researching companies they were most interested in.

“That’s what KCTC is about, giving students the skills while they are in high school,” Washington said. “Many of these employers have a real shortage of young people with technical and trade skills. They want to hire right away, and KCTC grooms (students) for employment.”

KCTC Principal John Kraus said area employers influence curriculum, advise on incorporating the newest technologies and evaluate student performance in labs.

“The health of our economy is driven by the products and services provided by our local businesses and industries,” Kraus said. “Our ‘product’ is a talented and dedicated workforce prepared to be leaders in high tech, challenging and rewarding careers.”

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

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