Dec. 7, 2005 The corridors buzzed with the cacophony of hundreds of simultaneous conversations as groups of teenagers zipped from one activity to another. One group of teens wore nurse's scrubs as they ushered their peers into one room. Others wielded scissors and guided willing participants to a waiting chairs. In both instances, other teens formed a tight crowd around the scenes, eagerly awaiting whatever came next.
Obviously, it was not just another routine school day. The occasion was the Seventh Annual Career and Technical Student Services Career and Job Fair and Open House at the newly renamed St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center.
This was the day that students enrolled in vocational courses showed off their skills to the public and fellow students. The nurse technician prep students performed blood pressure screening and checked the weight of willing patients in a room complete with hospital beds, a neo-natal care unit and a dentist chair. Along another corridor teens sat in barber chairs to get a haircut from the barbering class students. Cosmetology students lined both sides of another corridor with manicure tables and pedicure stations. Crowds of females students waited their turn to get manicures and pedicures. In the middle of the main thoroughfare four young ladies stood on a raised platform modeling new age hairstyles complemented by hair additions in bright colors of fuchsia, turquoise and gold, fashioned in the on-campus beauty salon.
More than 35 private and public businesses participated in Tuesday's event. Daphne F. Wilson-Williams, the school's principal, said the fair was a way for the community to connect with students to discuss and explore career opportunities available to high school and adult students. "The community has no idea of the state of the art facility we have here," Wilson-Williams said. "We have a lot to offer."
This year the fair honored Hovensa LLC for its continued support to the school. Hovensa partners with the school providing student career development. The oil giant and the local Mid-Isle Rotary club are multiple-year sponsors of the annual event. Hovensa collaborates with the school by providing programs for residents to attend training at the school at night in various industrial crafts which are needed at the refinery. Training programs include millwright, electricity, instrumentation, pipefitting, boiler making, welding and construction crafts.
Alexander A. Moorhead, Hovensa's vice president for governmental affairs, toured the school on Tuesday and even got his blood pressure and weight checked by the nursing students. "Very impressive," Moorhead said when asked his opinion of the exhibits. Moorhead said Hovensa partnership with the education center will continue to improve. "We are going to talk about that," Moorhead said.
Students from St. Croix's public, private and parochial junior high schools and St. Croix Central High School were bussed to the fair. "It's good for the kids. If you are here you can takes a class and be more prepared for college," said 14-year-old ninth grader Tina Pierre-Louis.
Candita Brewester, a 15-year-old ninth grader, said she is interested in the diesel technology class. It's fun to know how to fix cars, then you don't have to depend on anyone else."
Some of this year's participants included American Airlines, Denovo Spa, Pinnacle Services, Spencer's Biotech Products, Tropex, the Woman's Business Center, The Women's Coalition and the Village, Partners in Parenting. Government departments participating included, Public Safety, Public Works, Tourism, Planning and Natural Resources and Health. The Superior Court, Rotary Mid-Isle, the U.S. Navy, Army, the V.I. National Guard, the VI Waste Management Authority and the Water and Power Authority also took part.
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