GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Students across Jackson County students got to explore potential career paths Tuesday night at the third annual ‘Path that Pays’ event.
This is the third year for the event, which is hosted by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and held at MGCCC’s Jackson County campus in Gautier.
“It’s really for the parents. The students are there with their parents, but we’re hoping that the entire family learns about the path that pays. What can I be doing even during high school and directly following graduation from high school that leads to a paycheck?” said Paige Roberts, President and CEO of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
Finding a career that can lead to a paycheck doesn’t always mean a four-year degree. Leaders say the skills gap in the state lies just above having a high school diploma and before a four-year degree.
“Where the jobs need to be filled, but we don’t have the people trained," Paige added.
This year, organizers expanded their law enforcement area. Police and fire were on deck, even crime scene techs. Students and their parents got to enjoy a mini-lesson.
So whether you’re interested in a career at Chevron or Ingalls, healthcare, or just exploring options, there’s something for everyone in Mississippi.
“Today we are exploring careers for my children, especially my daughter. I want her to see that she can do college and also trades," added parent Iris Torres.
Seventh-grader Summer Kemp and her mom Alisha Dillard browsed the booths at the event. Alisha recently learned Summer wants to be a zoologist.
“Well the giraffes have long necks and it kind of like, I don’t know. It’s intriguing? Yes," they laughed.
“I really wasn’t sure what she would gravitate to. I didn’t even know until yesterday she was interested in zoology," said Dillard.
Organizers say in years past, hundreds of parents and students participated. They hoped to surpass that record with Tuesday’s event. Representatives from all four school districts in Jackson County attended, as well as some from home school areas.