Rome High School students filled the school’s gymnasium and auditorium Friday morning to meet with local employers who were giving one-on-one time with the prospective future employees.

“What are you doing after you graduate?” Michelle McCandless of the Coca-Cola Co. asked junior Jordan Palmer.

McCandless posed this question to each student who approached the table. She said the Rome High career fair was a great market for recruiting since the students could start working in merchandising when they turned 18.

Farther down the line of businesses, Asuncion Zavala, another junior, talked with veterinarian Melissa Riley-Edwards about the Animal Medical Center of Rome. After the discussion Zavala said she is interested in becoming a veterinarian after she graduates.

“At Rome High School the mission is to get all students to graduate ready for college or work,” Principal Eric Holland said. Stretching out his arms at the crowded gym he said, “This is the work part.”

During middle school the school starts pairing students with their future pathways, he said. The idea behind bringing the businesses in for the students to interact with is to engage in community support and bring students closer to their pathways. It’s good to see kids talking and filling out resumes, he added.

Miriam Little, a social worker with the Harbin Cancer Center, said the students who have approached them asked great questions.

“Some don’t know what they want to do but they enjoyed talking with us,” she said.

Next door Rome High seniors listened to presentations by different professionals brought in by the school to talk about their career journey. Ian Griffin, owner of V3 Publications talked about how he left Rome behind him after he graduated high school swearing never to return. He told the students the reason he returned and started his magazine here was because Rome had the advantage of having less competition than a larger city.

That is one of the messages April Eidson, RHS’s 9th grade counselor who organized the event,  wanted to get across to students.

“Rome has so much to offer for families, Rome has so much to offer for career pathways, I want our kids to know all of those things” she said. “I really wanted to highlight our Rome community.”

This was the second career fair at Rome High School she has been a part of. Last year was only for seniors, but this year the school made it available for juniors as well. Eidson said they will probably keep it this way due to the size of the high school.