Scenes from the First Annual Peter J. Benner Job Fair that took place on May 18, 2022

On Wednesday, May 18 Lincoln Academy hosted the first annual Peter J. Benner Job Fair in the Nelson Bailey Gym.

Representatives from Masters Machine at the LA Job Fair on May 18. From left: Eloy Marquez, Stephen Bailey (LA Class of '04), LA senior and Masters Machine intern Owen Dyer, and Steve Masters (LA class of '79).

Representatives from Masters Machine at the LA Job Fair on May 18. From left: Eloy Marquez, Stephen Bailey (LA Class of ’04), LA senior and Masters Machine intern Owen Dyer, and Steve Masters (LA class of ’79).

Representatives from 18 local businesses set up tables and spoke with LA students about immediate job openings and long-term career paths in their fields. Each organization offered entry level jobs for those that want to move right into trades employment after graduation as well as multiple career pathways for students that include areas like business, math, engineering, design, computer science, marketing and logistics to name a few.

Participating businesses were: All Points Pest Control, Back Cove/Sabre Yachts, Bangor Savings, Bath Savings Institution, Camden National Bank, Colby & Gale, CLC YMCA, First Federal Savings and Loan, The First National Bank, Hanley Construction, Inc., Hodgdon Yachts, MaineHealth, Masters Machine Co., Mid-Coast Energy Systems, Rising Tide Co-op, Reny’s, Stone Cove Catering/The 1812 Farm, Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc.

Most of the businesses at the fair are owned, managed by, or employ LA graduates, and they were happy to be invited to meet current students and discuss opportunities in their field.

Bill Morgner, President of Mid-Coast Energy Systems, spent the morning talking with students. “This event gives us another chance to connect with the community,” he said. “We have the opportunity to let students have a better understanding of what the mechanical trades have to offer to them. It really is not just a job but a career opportunity and it is right in their backyard.”

LA seniors were excused from their first period classes in order to spend time at the fair talking to business representatives. Juniors spent their advisor period in the gym, and younger grades were invited to attend during study halls or accompany their classroom teacher to see the offerings.

At the fair some businesses were hiring on the spot: at least six current students walked away with a summer job.

“The business community has been incredibly supportive of Lincoln Academy and the Peter J. Benner Job Fair is just one way we hope to support them, by helping them connect with local students, many of whom will soon be working and hoping to build a career right here in the midcoast,” said Laurie Hurd, LA Director of Development.

Students visit the Bangor Savings Bank booth at the Peter J. Benner '92 Job Fair

Students visit the Bangor Savings Bank booth at the Peter J. Benner ’92 Job Fair

“Next year, this fair will be part of a sequence to help our soon-to-be-graduates connect with employers. We’re organizing a fall event that will showcase the variety of career paths available in the midcoast.” The fall Career Day will be an opportunity for all LA students to hear from community members in healthcare, manufacturing, marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, education and more.

The fair was named for Peter Benner, who graduated from LA in 1992. He passed away in February of 2022, and his Lincoln Academy classmates donated in his honor to make this event possible.

“When we unexpectedly lost our classmate Peter Benner in February, our class was devastated by the loss,” said Juliet Kelsey-Holmes, Benner’s classmate and current LA Board Member who helped organize the Job Fair. “We quickly rallied to find a way to celebrate Peter, his impact on our class and this greater community. This job fair is now part of his legacy inspired by Peter’s gift for making true and lasting connections with people.”

“I thought it was really interesting to hear from some of the businesses, like LincolnHealth, who told us about how to get into the field of health care and progress really quickly into a career,” said senior Grace Houghton. “It was a fun event.”

“The job fair was an important step in building more long-term partnerships between the school and local organizations and businesses,” said LA Head of School Jeffrey Burroughs. “Talking to current students, alumni, and employers is helping us chart a course for future opportunities to connect people so they can earn a living right here if they choose. We’re looking forward to the next steps!”