Special needs students from seven counties learned first hand from 42 businesses, colleges, organizations and groups about available jobs in the market place at the South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative and Prairie Independent Living Resource Center Job-a-thon.

The event was held at the Pratt Area 4-H Center on the Pratt County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, March 1.

Colleges in attendance were Pratt Community College, Dodge City Community College, Hutchinson Community College and Wichita Area Technical College. Many businesses plus Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Pratt Police Department, Pratt Fire Department, Kansas State Extension, Cannonball Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross and many others were on hand to answer questions and discuss job opportunities.

Representing 12 schools and two learning centers in seven counties, 142 students leaned of job opportunities plus went through mock business interviews to help them prepare for future job applications, said Billy Thompson, Prairie Independent Living Resource Center living specialist.

Assisting with the job interviews was Maurices that brought samples of appropriate dresses for job interviews and owner Amy Rambat shared how students could dress for success and coordinate fashions, Thompson said.

Since the Job-a-Thon was on election day, a voting booth was set up and students got to vote on three issues: Should the state of Kansas require that children attend school on Saturday and allow that school may not start until the day after Labor Day and must end the Friday before Memorial Day?; Should Kansas add fifty cents to the cost of video games to fund an increase in the pay for teachers?; pick a national soft drink: Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew.

This was one of the biggest job-a-thons and the exhibitors as well as the organizers was pleased with the turnout and interest, Thompson said.