High school freshmen from all Jackson County schools and Scottsboro High School learned about many career opportunities at the ninth annual Career Exploration Opportunities (CEO) expo Thursday. The students were able to participate in many hands-on activities during their two hours at the expo.

The students were introduced to 16 career clusters. Professions from each area were available to talk with the students. There were also students from Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) and the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology (EPCOT) showing off their skills to the students.

One of the activities was a cups challenge game about building a chamber. This was sponsored by the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce which is a part of the CEO steering committee.

Students learned more about the waste to energy program for the city of Scottsboro from the Solid Waste Department. The city has recently revamped its recycling system, and students were informed about that along with trash collection and the operation of the landfill.

Local law enforcement officers showed students some of their gear and talked about being a police officer. The students like to do the drunk walk where they wear special glasses and try to walk a straight line. This helps them see why they should not drink and drive.

The students from EPCOT's cosmetology department demonstrated glitter tattoos and shaving cream balloons. There was always a line at the station for hair braiding, and the students created some beautiful braids. There were also stations for face massages which was popular with the freshmen.

All of the booths in the health science area stayed busy. Students had the opportunity to see what goes into respiratory treatments from members of the cardiopulmonary department at Highlands Medical Center. There was an area where students could get their blood pressure checked. 

EPCOT'S students did demonstrations in several areas including welding and laying bricks.  The freshmen got to see some woodwork being done by these students.

One of the exciting displays was the robotics from NACC. They had the BEST(Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics hoping to spark interest in these careers. The robot they had was a hit with the students.

Students interested in agriculture  could learn how to milk a  cow. Luckily, the cow was not a real one and would not kick over the bucket!

Scottsboro Power Board employees were on hand to explain about careers in the electrical field. The students could ask questions about everything from  being a lineman and getting up in a bucket truck to customer service.

Representatives from Lambert Contracting had fun with the students. They let them drive a piece of equipment and even had a contest. Students could also learn about careers in transportation, plumbing, landscaping, and the construction fields from area businesses.

Each student had the opportunity to visit as many booths as they could during their time at the expo.  These freshmen had fun learning about exciting careers available to them in the local area. The expo gives them a chance to see a variety of careers and decide what would be best for them.

The steering  committee for the expo  is made up of members from EPCOT, IMPACT Learning Center, Jackson County Economic Development Authority, Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce, NACC, Jackson County and Scottsboro City Schools. Special thanks goes to VFW Post 6073 and American Legion Post 30.

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