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 The Jefferson County Educational Service Center (JCESC) was one of 88 county school districts established in 1914 by the Ohio General Assembly.  County school districts were charged with responsibility for elevating the state’s system of education to a proper standard, and the work of county staff was primarily regulatory and compliance-driven.  Staff developed courses of study, provided teacher inservice training, and supervised classrooms.  In 1995, county school districts were renamed educational service centers, a title that appropriately describes a shift in focus from compliance to service and reflects the current work of ESCs. 

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Career, Education Fair Draws Crowd
STEUBENVILLE-More than 1,000 high school students from Jefferson, Harrison and Columbiana counties converged upon the Fort Steuben Mall on Thursday for the County-wide Career and Education Fair.    Hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Training and Education Committee, the fair had an estimated 87 vendors including businesses, trade organizations, colleges and universities, safety forces and military recruiters while students attended from Buckeye Local, Catholic Central, Edison, Harrison Central, Indian Creek, Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ School of Bright Promise, Jefferson County Christian School, Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, Steubenville, Toronto and Southern Local.    The committee, which is headed by Jefferson County Educational Service Center Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko, includes 12 members representing school districts and businesses who helped organize the fair while the districts also transported their pupils. The event was a first-time effort and organizers hope to see it continue.    Chamber President Kate Sedgmer said the fair was successful and everyone was very engaged. She added that the goal was to introduce students to career fields that are available in the area so they stay local to work after high school or return home from college to build their lives.    “We were very fortunate and it went smoothly,” she said. “All of the businesses and colleges that came from near and far have made it successful.”     Among the highlights were vendors’ tables with representatives from the likes of Timet Corp., and Trinity Health System to Wheeling University and the University of Rio Grande, roundtables with business and college officials discussing everything from production and manufacturing and finance to entrepreneurship, trade apprenticeship and healthcare. Other offerings included free food, giveaways, games and interactive displays.    Some students on hand said they enjoyed the career fair because they learned about options for their future.    “It’s pretty nice to just talk to people from colleges,” said Landon Sgalla, a junior computer networking student from Jefferson County JVS and Buckeye Local.    “I think it was very informative and helpful for people who don’t know what they want to do,” added Conner Scott, a junior at BLHS.    “I thought it was a good opportunity,” said Indian Creek student Leyla Greene. “There was a lot for people who don’t want to go to college.”    “It’s been fun,” said Payton Hersman, a senior at Southern Local High School, who said he enjoyed speaking with college officials.    Representatives on hand agreed it was a great venue to share their knowledge and help students determine their path in life.    “It seems like they are very open to learning new things about jobs opportunities,” said Sarah Malecha, supervisor for Softite Community Federal Credit Union of Mingo Junction.    “We had some with questions about jobs and financial information,” added Tammy Pasqualla, supervisor for the Softite Community Federal Credit Union location in Martins Ferry.                                                                                             “I do interviews and resume building and help students get from school to college or the workforce,” said Jordan Spence regional network coordinator for Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C) of Marietta, adding that he offered guidance to attendants. “My job is getting them career ready.”     Lisa Pearce of Manpower was pleased with the students’ engagement and said she looked forward to taking part in future events, while Jess Kelley of Trinity Health System concurred. Kelley, who serves as community outreach specialist, noted that Trinity was more than a medical facility and provided opportunities for marketing and other skill sets. Pat Maple, environmental engineer for Timet Corp., said his company also had an array of jobs from electrical and welding to mechanical and environmental health and safety engineering.    “We employ a broad scope of degrees and certifications” Maple said.      Jason Welch, an instructor for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 246 of Steubenville, provided a welding simulation and said it provided a hands-on experience for interested youth.    Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko of the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, who led the chamber’s workforce committee, thanked everyone for participating and said he hoped to see the fair continue.    “I appreciate all the people who worked together to make the event happen, as well as the area businesses and colleges that showed up to share information with the students,” Dr. Kokiko commented. “I hope this will be an annual event. We’ll take what we learned this year to make next year’s even better.”    Meanwhile, sponsors included the chamber, JCESC, Village of Wintersville, Trinity Health System, Timet Corp., Steubenville Electrical JATC, Eastern Gateway Community College, American Electric Power, Summer’s Enterprise, Notre Dame College, Ohio College Tech Prep and the Capital Healthcare Network.(Photo Caption: More than 1,000 high school students from Jefferson, Harrison and Columbiana Counties attended the inaugural County-wide Career and Education Fair at the Fort Steuben Mall. The event was hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Education and Training Committee and sponsored by area businesses, colleges and trade organizations. Youth met officials to discuss options for their future and also enjoyed free food, giveaways and interactive experiences.)
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2023 Sunset Blvd. Steubenville, OH 43952
Tel: 740-283-3347 Fax: 740-283-2709

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