GLADSTONE, Mich. (WJMN) – Preparing for your future can be overwhelming and scary, especially as a high school senior. To help those students still not sure about their path post-graduation, the Delta-Schoolcraft ISD held a career fair in the Gladstone High School gym on Thursday.

“The whole mission of this career fair is to expose our students to career opportunities, what is available to them,” said Michael Roland, director of the Delta-Schoolcraft ISD’s Delta County College Access Network. “I remember when I was in high school, I didn’t know what was here, and these kids have the opportunity to say ‘Whoa, there’s all this?’ and that’s what we want. We want them to understand the U.P. is a great place to live, we all know that, but it’s also a wonderful place to have a career.”

Over 500 students from Gladstone, Rapid River, Mid-Pen and Big Bay networked with a variety of businesses, organizations, and universities. Whether it’s the skilled trades, the military, or the college-route, students had the chance to see what different career and life paths are available to them, especially right here in the U.P.

“I’m just hoping that we can get the ones who want to join, to join and it’s a good bet for anybody who’s looking for work wanting to make money right away instead of going to college and if they want to take that route,” said Dan Johnson, a carpenter apprentice with Miron Construction.

Gladstone High School Senior Gavin Angsten is one of those students interested in getting into the skilled trades after graduation. He says he enjoys being outside and working hard.

“I do welding at the ISD, and then ever since I was little, I’ve been driving my grandpa’s tractor around and just enjoy working,” said Angsten. “I’ve been looking at the construction companies that are local here and I’ve just been learning about my opportunities that I can get through the union and a couple of the other companies and what I can do for them coming out of high school.”

Mackenzie Blume is choosing a different path after high school, who plans to attend Northern Michigan University next fall, majoring in environmental science with a focus in invasive species.

“I definitely, the first time I saw it, I wanted to go talked to the Hiawatha National Forest people because I had been looking at getting an internship there during the summer after I graduate,” said Blume. “I talked to them, and they told me how I can find stuff for that, and I was asking them about jobs that would be good for the major I am going into in college.”

A second career fair will be held at Escanaba High School on Tuesday, October 24 with over 1,000 students expected to attend.