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DTC Job Fair hosts 350 participants Print E-mail

Tim Hicks, Denmark Technical College

With rising gas prices and local job layoffs, it made the interest keen at the Job Fair and Transfer Day at Denmark Technical College.

The event was held March 17 on the DTC main campus in Denmark. About 350 people toured through the McDuffie gym to speak to people from the region’s businesses. Industries like Santee Cooper, the state-owned public utility; Horsehead Corp., a Barnwell County heavy metal smelter; AXA Advisors, a financial consulting company, other businesses and the armed services had representatives there.

The event was open to the public as well as DTC students. Most of the general public came early to job search. For students, the event was also a chance to talk with representatives of several four-year colleges about the requirements to transfer once they have earned their associate degree or gotten college prerequisites out of the way at Denmark Tech.

For Jamie Baughman of Barnwell, the event was a job prospecting opportunity. Baughman was working on the deer hunting crew at Savannah River Site until its most recent lay-offs in early March.

“I’m out here checking out the jobs after I got laid off,” he said.

Baughman earned a certificate in multi-skill maintenance at DTC last year and hopes to put it to use at a new job.

“It was a really good program,” he said of the multi-skill maintenance certificate program. “I liked using the modules. It was more hands on than what I was used to. Another thing that helped out is that we had stuff on the computer.”

In the program, multi-skill students learn about different maintenance scenarios through modules that simulate pneumatic, hydraulic and heating and cooling systems at the DTC Barnwell campus.

One company seeking new employees at the DTC job fair was AXA Advisors, which is affiliated with AXA Equitable, an insurance and finance company. AXA Advisors is expanding its presence into the Orangeburg and surrounding areas and needs employees to help with this process, said Julia Parks. Parks is the vice president of the Columbia territory for AXA Advisors.

Parks said she is seeking job candidates with two- or four-year degrees with an entrepreneurial spirit to work for the 150-year old company.

Santee Cooper was looking at the available workforce in the area.

“We have a number of positions available but we are always looking for technical people. About 70 percent of Santee Cooper jobs are technical positions,” said Hazel Leaphart, a representative at the job fair.

DTC’s electromechanical and electronic technology majors are two study fields that are quite applicable to many job positions at Santee Cooper, Leaphart said.

“Both these are great for us,” she said. “Either of those majors are attractive for our company.”

There were 36 businesses, industries, colleges and agencies at the DTC job fair this year, said Jay Fields, the DTC career placement and planning director.

“We had more community people come in today earlier than we did last year,” he said.

Dr. Michael M. Townsend Sr., the president of DTC, welcomed the businesses, agencies and guests to the job fair at the start.

“I was very impressed by the support of our local businesses coming to our event,” he said later.

The Air Force, Navy and Marines had recruiters on hand at the event as well.

“We’ve got a lot of good programs and people interested in the Reserves,” said Navy Petty Officer Gregg Thompson.

Thompson said he was particularly seeking recruits for several programs in the Navy like its engineering, nuclear technology and SEALS programs.

Thompson had several people leave him résumés this time, which he has not seen previously at job fairs he attended.

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