Thousands of eighth-graders from all around West Alabama visited Shelton State Community College today, but they weren’t taking classes. They were there for the second annual Worlds of Work Expo.

Dozens of local employers were there, showing students what kinds of careers they can look forward to in West Alabama.

And those jobs aren’t average by any means. They’re high-paying positions employers are saying they’re having trouble filling because there aren’t enough skilled workers.

Students said getting a look at these jobs hands-on experience is illuminating.

“The McAbee booth was my favorite,” said Collins-Riverside Middle student Joseph Freeman. “Because you actually got to see how the weld and what they use to weld.”

Alliceville Middle schooler Emily Bryant said it’s great because students can see what might pique their interests.

Carolyn Henley with DCH Regional Medical Center said they need future workers as much as those workers need them.

“These here could be our future nurses and doctors,” she said. “And so what we teach them today could impact their lives forever.”

Worlds of Work continues Friday. It’s open to all eighth-graders throughout West Alabama.

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