Rapides Parish College Fair - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Rapides Parish College Fair

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - With the presidential election coming up, this struggling job market is on Americans' minds, including those who are starting to think about taking the first step and jumping into the job market.

The next generation will head to the polls this year, with the prospects looking grim in some cases.

We visited the Rapides Parish College Fair today and spoke with some high school students about their job prospects.

Darien Crochet knows college is the next step. But he says, that doesn't mean he has it all figured out.

Darien Crochet, Northwood High senior: "There are a lot of varieties to choose from, and there are a lot of possibilities."

Last month, unemployment dropped from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. But that still leaves 12.5 million Americans jobless.

Crochet: "It kind of makes me a little bit nervous, but it doesn't really scare me. Makes me think a little bit."

That's why he's at the Rapides Parish College Fair, hosted by LSUA.  

Juniors and seniors from all over the parish came out for a little nudge in the collegiate direction.

Shelly Kieffer, director of admissions for LSUA: "I see that more students are starting to think about their future a lot earlier these days."

But Shelly Kieffer says, even though kids are thinking about college, it can be tough for them to look beyond it, and into the struggling job market.

Kieffer: "High school kids just see the world as an open door. And that's great, and we need to keep that, but I don't think they have ideas about what jobs are available."

That's why recruiters at the fair say, this event and others like it are an important reminder to keep kids heading to college. They say it's far more than just about getting that diploma.

Tye Menist, Millsaps College recruiter: "The experiences that you learn there, communicating with people, whether it be in your major, outside your major, really that's what going to help you out after you graduate."

Crochet says no matter what the future brings, he's going to make sure he's taking advantage of the present--and all the help he can get each step of the way.

Crochet: "I don't think young people are planning as far ahead as they should be, but with all these fairs and everything, this helps you get to where you need to be."

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