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ALTON - Hundreds of Alton High School students turned out at the high school’s first-ever career fair on Friday, April 26, 2024.

Businesses from across the Riverbend region were present to speak with students about their career opportunities and job openings. Principal Mike Bellm noted that it was an exciting day and he was happy to see so many students interacting with the vendors.

“It’s great to see our students here and so engaged and participating, but that’s due to all the vendors. They’ve really come prepared,” Bellm said. “If you noticed, their stations and stands look great. I’ve gotten to hear almost all of them talk to the students, and they are doing an excellent job.”

Seniors, juniors and sophomores were invited to visit the job fair during their first and second periods on Friday. Bellm said many students visited all of the vendors, and others gravitated toward certain businesses or organizations.

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A few students noted that they had plans to get in touch with vendors after the fair to apply for jobs and internships. They said they were excited to hear more about the opportunities available in the Riverbend region.

“It has been awesome today,” said Anabella, a senior student at AHS. “I’ve really enjoyed it. There’s a lot of businesses and a lot of good turnout for students.”

The vendors present included the City of Alton, Alton Parks and Recreation Department, Alton Police Department, Alton Fire Department, Alton Public Works, Alton Mayor David Goins, Carrollton Bank, the Boilermakers Local 363, Allied Pest Control, Cope Plastics, 1st MidAmerica Credit Union, Sheet Metal Workers, Village of Godfrey Parks and Recreation, Kienstra Illinois LLC, Spencer T. Olin, Painters District Council 58, Raging Rivers, Alton School District Maintenance Department, the U.S. Army, Walmart, Mighty River Recycling, Applied Engineering Plastics, McDonalds and the North Alton-Godfrey Business Council.

Bellm said that the fair was a great chance for students to engage with the community and learn more about local businesses and organizations. He noted that events like the career fair show how strong the school district and high school are.

“It’s great. I think we have one of the most beautiful campuses to begin with in southern Illinois, and then you add the soccer field and the baseball field and this auxiliary gym,” Bellm added. “We just keep doing great things, and that’s a credit to Kristie Baumgartner and Elaine Kane and everybody who puts the time and effort into that.”

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