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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

AHS students consider futures at Career Fair

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On Wednesday, Oct. 3, 45 local organizations participated in the Third Annual Artesia High School Career Fair, providing information and networking opportunities to high school students preparing to enter higher level education or the workforce.

Debbie Kinnibrugh, an AHS guidance counselor, said, “Many students think that the only way they can be successful is by getting a college degree, and they don’t realize that the trades and on the job training are other pathways to success.” 

The students collected candy and swag from law enforcement agencies including the Artesia Police Department, Eddy County Sherriff’s Office and U.S. Border Patrol and mingled with business professionals from First American Bank, Century 21 Real Estate, the Artesia Daily Press, and CVE. A full list of businesses is compiled below.

According to Kinnibrugh, this year students were able to participate in hands-on activities as well, such as suturing pigs’ feet, making dental molds, chair massages, and more. The Artesia Police Department provided their Crime Science; the Artesia Training Academy provided information about obtaining CDLs and the jobs made available to those who hold that certification. ConocoPhillips gave a drone presentation, EOG had a display of rocks and minerals, and American Safety Services showed safety ropes.

Local entrepreneurs were represented by Sun Country Dog Grooming, who arrived with evidence of their expertise in the form of a poodle shaved and colored like a skeleton, and New Orleans Shaved Ice. AHS graduate Dr. Rhaela Stall brought goats and medical equipment.

Kinnibrugh said, “There was really something for everyone.”

The students and teachers provided positive feedback:

“I liked that I got to see many different careers and options for my future. It was a good step for me to better my career choices and decisions,” said Lilyan Riley. “I liked that I not only got to see the careers, but was also able to practice certain things like sutures and dental work.”

“The career fair showed me that there are a bunch of possible places me and other kids can go and work or go to school and join companies,” said senior Manuel Estrada. “The police department helped me realize that it was something I wanted to do. They help the community and keep others safe and that’s something I have always wanted to do…to help people.”

“There was a lot of interaction with the students and it seemed like students really enjoyed it,” Scott Keimle, media teacher, said. “The businesses and vendors captured the students’ imagination and gave them something to think and prepare for their futures about with the different career opportunities in our area.”

Participating businesses included:

American Safey Services Incorporated

Artesia Credit Union

Artesia Daily Press/Jess Addington Photography

Artesia Fire Department

Artesia General Hospital Advanced Learning Center

Artesia General Hospital (Surgery Department)

Artesia General Hospital

Artesia Physical Therapy, LLC

Artesia Polica Department

Artesia Recreation Department

Artesia Training Academy

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Central Valley Electric Cooperative

Century 21

Chase Foundation


Dr. Raburn Chiropractic

Eddy County Detention Center

Eddy County Fire and Rescue

Eddy County Human Resources

Eddy County Sherriff’s Office

EOG Resources

First American Bank

GCI Contractors

Harvest Fellowship

Harvey and Simons CPAs

HF Sinclair/Navajo Refining

J&J Home Healthcare

Mack Energy

New Mexico Rural Water Association

NM Workforce Connection Center

Pecos Valley Equipment

Peñasco Valley Telecommunications

Permian Basin Guidance and Counseling

Primary Residential Mortgage Inc (PRMI)

Dr. Rhaela Stall- Large Animal Veterinarian

Salado Isolation Mining Contractors/WIPP

SENM Massage Therapy School

Smile Xpressions

Sun Country Grooming


U.S. Border Patrol


Wilbanks Trucking, LLC

ZenCare Family Wellness Center

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