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Outlook optimistic at CVTC Career Fair

Mike Raskin, left, representing JAMF Software, talks with CVTC IT-Network Specialist program students, from left, Chris Caturia, Chris Chmelik and Chase Kahl at the CVTC Fall Career Fair Wednesday.

Eau Claire, WI – More employers are actively recruiting new employees, leading to a sense of optimism among Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) students attending the annual Fall Career Fair.

Eighty-four employer booths were set up at the business, health and manufacturing education centers during the event. That’s an increase of 16 from the fall 2012 fair and an increase of 31 from the fall 2011 event. A few employers set up booths at more than one location. Employer participation has nearly doubled at the Business Education Center over the past two years, and at the Health Education Center recruitment booths have increased from six to 17.

 “We’re probably going to be hiring about 10 people in the next year,” said Shannon Seyforth, a CVTC Marketing Management program graduate herself, representing WIN, a networking, Internet, data center and IT consulting company headquartered in Eau Claire. She and colleague Jon Kable were talking with students in CVTC’s Information Technology-Network Specialist program.

“We get them right out of school and they seem well-rounded. They’re ready for the workforce,” Seyforth said of CVTC students.

The students were just as impressed with what WIN has to offer. IT-Network Specialist students Chris Caturia of Plum City, Chris Chmelik of Thorp and Chase Kahl of Clear Lake mentioned WIN as one of the companies they were most interested in as they networked together at the fair.

“I’m hoping to be a network administrator,” said Chmelik. “I really like the troubleshooting aspect of it. It’s enjoyable to me to make things work.

“It makes you think; that’s why I chose this,” Kahl said of the program.

Another company that impressed the three students was JAMF Software, the growing Eau Claire company famous for its Casper Suite software. JAMF was making its first appearance at the fair.

“They’re both high-powered companies and would be very challenging and great to get into,” Kahl said of WIN and JAMF.

Matt Raskin was representing JAMF, and selling the students on not just the interesting work, but the unique corporate culture at the company.

“You have to have the skills, but we are looking for a certain kind of individual – a person with drive, a life-long learner, someone with the intangibles like intellectual curiosity and that desire to know more and to learn,” Raskin said.

The diversity of employers recruiting was a reflection of the diversity of CVTC programs. Value Implement, a farm equipment dealer with six locations in the area, was recruiting students in the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician program.

“As technology changes, as demand changes, we need more service technicians,” said Sue Christianson, who works with the company’s human resources department. She added the company needs at least one more technician in every location.

Ryan Terpstra, a CVTC student from Baldwin, was interested in Value Implement.

“I’m looking for something along the lines of tractors and (semi) trucks,” Terpstra said. “I lived on a farm my whole life and I was always interested in them.”

Some students networking at the fair were less specific in their searches. “I’m looking for what deals with my Business Management major. I’m quite open,” said Thomas Anyanwu, who is originally from Duluth. “I’m a great people person and I like to be around people of different cultures and races.”

Anyanwu received some interest from the Aflac representatives.

A spring Career Fair held annually at CVTC also includes law enforcement and emergency services professions. The spring 2013 event drew 94 employer booths at four locations.