By Marc Munroe Dion
Herald News Staff Reporter
Diman senior Culinary Arts students Tatiana Candido and Jonas Homen compare notes as they explore opportunities at the school's job fair on Thursday - Herald News Photo | Jack Foley
FALL RIVER — You hate to ruin a kid's high school years by reminding him or her that high school is the gateway to a lifetime of work.
But it doesn't have to be bad news, not if you can get hold of a trade and hang on for a lifetime.
At Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, matching a kid with a trade is one of the things they do best, though plenty of their students go on to college as well.
Thuraday, Diman held a job fair in the gymnasium.
Job fairs are pretty common in schools, but the fair at Diman has companies who want to hire now.
"Part -time, full-time, the military is here," said Kevin Lazaro, Diman's director of co-operative education.
There were 68 companies in the gym, and 425 students had signed up to go table-to-table, learning about how to look for work and looking for work.
"We've been doing this for seven years now," Lazaro said. "These students are mostly seniors and juniors with some sophomores," Lazaro said.
Just the experience of dealing with employers is valuable, and students entered the gym quietly, well-dressed, all of them carrying a resume.
"Before they do the job fair, we have training," Lazaro said. "We talk to them about attire, about how to act, about having a resume and bringing it with you.
"When we started, we were the first to do this," Lazaro said. "That first year, we had 203 students and 28 companies.
"These companies are here to hire, make no mistake," Lazaro said.
Ron Gerson said his Middleboro company, which makes masks with health care and industrial uses, said recruiting at Diman was a good idea.
"We've got several good candidates," Gerson said.
"We've been very impressed with the students we've met here today."
The gym was full of companies in the business of everything from metal fabrication to nursing and rehabilitative care. The Army and the Fall River Fire Department were there as well.
Like the other young men filing into the gym, senior Brandon Gervasio had clearly absorbed the training about dressing professionally, and he was carrying a resume.
Asked if he thought he'd get an offer today, he smiled.
"Hopefully," he said.
He's been working as a machinist in Middletown.
"I'd like to stick with that," he said, striding off with his resume folder in hand.