Grayson College played host to area high school students for Careers in Texas Industries Day on Friday. Students were given the opportunity to rotate through a variety of career sessions in STEM, Health Science, Public Service and Business. The goal of the event was for students to discover new options for education following high school graduation.

The speaker for the event was Michael Klemiuk, who said it is vital students be provided opportunities to explore careers they may be unaware of.

“It’s incredibly important for these young minds who are trying to find themselves,” Klemiuk said. “They are trying to find their path and direction. Having Grayson College give you the opportunity to come and explore those paths gives them clarity. It gives them an idea of what they’re passionate about.”

 The event was organized by Grayson College, Texoma Workforce, Denison Development Alliance, Sherman Economic Development Corporation, area industries and school districts. Grayson College Alumni and welding instructor Doyle Roy said exposure is key in helping students discover career and education opportunities.

“I think that it blows up exposure,” Roy said. “I went to Pottsboro High School and I had no clue what was available here for me. If I would have had a little tour, it would have made a huge difference.”

Klemiuk went on to explain how career sessions often create sparks that ignite a passion for something unexpected.

“I think it gives an opportunity to open their eyes and focus in on what they’re really supposed to be doing,” Klemiuk said. “It may change a lot because life changes fast. So, if they can have the opportunity to explore that, it gives them options for the future.”

One of the career sessions offered to students involved the welding program, which is available on Grayson College’s main campus and south campus in Van Alstyne. Even with the large number of welding students, Roy said they are unable to keep up with demand.

“There is a huge void in the job market,” Roy said. “We thought we would have saturated the market by now but we can’t keep up. I’ve noticed that our retention rates increase if I can get them a job while they’re in the program. I see a huge difference whenever they are employed.”

The college works with students to accommodate work schedules so they are able to gain work experience while still completing the program. Roy explained the hurricane devastation the nation has seen recently has served to further increase the need for skilled workers.