CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois Valley Central High School welcomed business owners, industry experts, law enforcement, military personnel, and more to a college and career fair Thursday.

The school said students could also explore a small job fair with employers who hire directly out of high school.

Room moderator and french teacher Aubrey Smigel said students learn which educational paths will help them achieve their goals.

“It is super important for students to have access to be able to ask questions to people who are in different fields and to talk about college track, non-college track,” said Smige. “It really opens that door to give them experiences talking to people who maybe didn’t take a traditional route.”

She also said the day showcases how central Illinois has a vibrant workforce ready for new local staff.

“We want our talent to stay where it is [and] use those community resources that we have available,” said Smigel. “Of course, we want students to go out and see the world, explore, and see lots of cool things, but we want them to bring back all that new knowledge and share it with the people back here at home.”

Our Rebecca Brumfield spoke with students Thursday who expressed interest in the broadcast industry.

Students asked questions about education requirements, salary range, and skills needed to start their journalism careers.