WESTERLY — David Burrows, 16, has a goal for his future, and it’s a lofty one.
“Just looking to make millions,” the Westerly High School junior said Thursday at the school’s annual job and career fair.
He has two jobs now, he said — at Ginger’s gas station and the Misquamicut Club. But he was in the right place Thursday to try for a third on his path toward those millions.
About 500 students passed through the high school’s gymnasium for the fair, career guidance counselor Lisa Fusaro said. Each grade level spends about a half hour visiting employers.
“We have professionals here that are showcasing careers, the (Westerly) Education Center talking about summer classes, and local businesses promoting summer jobs,” Fusaro said. It’s the second year the high school has held the fair.
This year, 24 local employers attended, including organizations such as the Horses Healing Humans therapeutic riding center and the Tomaquag Museum, and businesses like Paddy’s, PizzaPlace, Dunns Corners Market and the Westerly Community Credit Union.
Jeffrey Kane, 18, filled out an application for the Ocean House. The senior has worked as a cashier at Ace Hardware, and also has long-term plans, he said.
“Go to college, get a master’s degree and hopefully get a job doing business somewhere,” Kane said.
PizzaPlace employees Adam Banks and Ashley Nelson sat behind a table, smiling and ready to chat with students, hand out applications and answer questions.
“Most people come in to apply,” Banks said. “It’s almost summer, so we need more help, especially in the kitchen.”
Nelson said she got her job as a waitress by knowing someone who worked there, while Banks walked in at 14, applied and was hired. He’s now a full-time cook.
“You either know someone or you show up, that’s it,” Nelson said.
Horses Healing Humans volunteer director and head instructor Kara Tedford said the interest from the students in the Stonington nonprofit was steady.
“We’re looking for someone to help with marketing, social media, events,” Tedford said. “We hire mostly volunteers but also do internships, too.”
Paddy’s business manager Angela Thoman said the business looks to hire for more than 100 summer positions.
“We need server’s assistants, hosts, dishwashers and prep cooks,” she said. Paddy’s employs about 200 in the summer, and holds its own job fair as well.
Junior Emma Jarvis, 16, said she’s already employed at a grinder shop, and wants to eventually own her own event-planning business. She also explored some of what the employers at the fair had to offer.
She said that Horses Healing Humans “looked pretty interesting.”