The High School High Tech of Gulf County program had a Career Fair at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School late last month.

The High School High Tech of Gulf County program had a Career Fair at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School late last month.  The students spent time with each of the business representatives, learning what was required educationally, the scope of the opportunities in different fields, what skills or aptitudes may be required, and what financial opportunities exist in many different fields.  There was an emphasis on high tech jobs and also employment opportunities that the students expressed an interest in.  The businesses that were represented were:

FairPoint Communications staff gave the students information on the variety of career opportunities right here in Port St. Joe with around 63 different types and levels of jobs available.  FairPoint has worked with HSHT students for over five years and are strong supporters and mentors. Thank you to Susan Machemer, Human Resources, Donna White, Administrative Assistant, Sandy Reeves, Sales Account Executive and Jimmy Alford, Business Services Technician. 

Nancy Anderson, a Nurse Practitioner who is currently working in a Sacred Heart satellite primary care office in Wewahitchka, represented the medical field. Ms. Anderson explained the difference between RN, FNP and LPN’s. She stressed the importance of caregivers requiring communication skills.

Kerigan Marketing Associates, Inc. founded by Port St. Joe’s Jack Kerigan, has earned over 100 ADDY awards creating TV commercials, radio spots, websites, logos and online advertising. Mr. Kerigan discussed the type of jobs that marketing requires concept development, graphic design and web design among others.

Alex Henderson, the owner of Monumental Fabrication discussed how important math is when designing and building spiral staircases.

High School High Tech students who participated were: Shenoya Fennell, Corey Williams, Joseph Price, John Keigans, Carl Sheline, Howard Townsend, Katie Noble, Nikeia Fenn, Jarkeice Davis, Deontae George and Jak Riley. 

The students expressed their appreciation to all the presenters and were pleased with the amount of information they received regarding career opportunities and what will be required to reach their career goals.

Allison Chase, Program Director, for the ABLE Trust, which provides partial funding for the High School High Tech Program in Gulf County through Dyslexia Research Institute in Tallahassee presented Port St. Joe’s High School Principal, Jeremy Knapp with an award which recognized HSHT in Port St. Joe by the ABLE Trust as the #1 High School High Tech program in the State of Florida for 2013. 

Chase bragged on the success of the Port St Joe program, stating that even though small and rural, it was one of the most outstanding in Florida.  Without our local business partner’s participation, the program could not be successful. 

Melissa Behee spoke to the group about becoming more involved, how the students are worked with all year and have to “earn” the right to participate in the paid interships during the summer through citizenship, community service, involvement in school activities etc.

One of the immediate community service projects for the HSHT students is to participate in the Gulf County Sheriff Toy Drive and play Santa’s Helpers to sort the toys that are collected.

Should you like to become involved as a mentor or business partner with the High School High Tech Program of Gulf County, please contact Melissa Behee, Program Director at