Tuesday, 02 October 2018 14:48

St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s Job Fair Attracts 1,000+ Students

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Students visit WAC’s booth during the St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s 2018 Gateway Automotive and Collision Job Fair. Students visit WAC’s booth during the St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s 2018 Gateway Automotive and Collision Job Fair.


On Sept. 21, the St. Louis I-CAR Committee hosted its 2018 Gateway Automotive and Collision Job Fair at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL.


A dozen schools attended the job fair, bringing 780 automotive and collision students and 250 STEM students from local schools.


According to St. Louis I-CAR Committee Chair Shelly Jones, “This job fair is important, as it engages students, employers and companies that rely on a healthy automotive industry, and proceeds benefit the collision programs at area schools.


Gene Slattery, education coordinator for the committee, led the job fair subcommittee through planning and execution. Leading up to the event, Gene and I spoke at some of the schools to prepare the students for the day of activities and interviewing. The 780 students that the committee invited all wore our custom t-shirt that we provided them. We find that students and instructors proudly wear their t-shirts throughout the year. Their excitement about attending the job fair and race track is shared with their friends and family.”


St. Louis I-CAR Committee Vice Chair of Marketing Sarah Young added, “The event was a huge success. From the early organizing to the actual event, everyone on the committee did a great job of making sure the students who attended had the best possible opportunities throughout the day. This was my first time at the I-CAR STL Job Fair, so I didn't know what to expect, but it was a great success. I particularly enjoyed watching the expressions of eager students as they talked with potential employers and especially during the special guest speaker.”


Held during NHRA qualification races, the event featured a speech by Top Fuel racer Antron Brown.


Slattery noted, “Just imagine 780 students walking through the NHRA pits, asking questions and handing out resumes to all the pit crews. They were the talk of the drag races.”


“Any time we can put faces with a cause is key. In this industry, there is so much need for furthering the future, from technicians to office personnel,” Young pointed out.

According to Slattery, this type of event is important to the industry because it provides an opportunity “to interview students for jobs in the automotive and collision industry, to promote the industry to prospective students at the schools and to promote the industry to local vocational and technical schools and colleges.”


The day began with guest speakers, followed by I-CAR tent interviews, lunch in the I-CAR tent and private interviews with the 36 sponsors who had booths and conducted interviews with students.


Jones pointed out, “For our partners, this is an opportunity to hire for immediate openings and to build a strong bench of potential employees.”


Students were given guides as a lasting reference.


Slattery explained, “In the guide, we list all the partners who were there to interview them. The students can network with them for future employment.”


Young noted, “As the students flooded in, there were several engaged discussions with employers looking for quality hires, which allowed for the students to also learn more about the industry roles they might not have been aware of during their studies.”


Participants responded favorably to the job fair. Garry Briscoe of Lake Career and Tech Center in Camdenton, MO, wrote to the St. Louis I-CAR Committee to express his gratitude: “I just wanted to thank you and the team that put together this year’s career fair. In class this morning, we reflected on what my students learned and experienced during our trip, and I was awestruck with the detailed responses that I received. My students were amazed at the resources utilized to put on the career fair and the actual race. Several mentioned that they had talked to crew members, who had confirmed what Antron Brown had stated about the power of being dedicated and having great work ethics. We had 42 students with us this time and at no point were there any discipline issues or lack of interest in why we were there. This is a life-changing event for many of my students. It expands their knowledge of the outside world, as we are from a rural area. Although I emphasize it, many of my students do not realize the true size and scope of our industry---this trip does wonders toward confirming that.”

The St. Louis I-CAR Committee is grateful to all who made this year’s Gateway Automotive and Collision Job Fair such a huge success.


Jones stated, “Special thanks to Gene Slattery and Doug Slattery from ATI for all their work throughout the year to pull together this successful event, and thank you to the St. Louis I-CAR subcommittee members who did a fantastic job of signing up partners and orchestrating the event. Finally, thank you to CREF, Gateway Motorsports, NHRA/ARMY, Enterprise, Bommarito and all our partners that donated food, water, signs and more for the event. These donations allow the committee to donate more funds back to the school programs.”


Information about the St. Louis I-CAR Committee can be found on Facebook by searching I-CAR St. Louis Committee.