INSTITUTE, W.Va. — Over 50 companies and organizations representing a broad spectrum of career fields made their way out to West Virginia State University Tuesday for its annual Career and Employment Expo.

Job seekers included students from WVSU as well as alumni and the general public who were all invited out to explore a range of career openings within government, finance, human resources, law enforcement, sales and marketing, communications, among others.

A freshman at WVSU, Omar Maraikayer told MetroNews that the expo was a reflection of the growing number of job opportunities becoming available in the state.

“If you are looking for something in West Virginia, there are so many opportunities here, and that’s just something you learn from this, I mean, it’s a room full of people trying to get people to move forward,” said Maraikayer.

Both he and another freshman at WVSU, Eddie King currently have their sights set on the medical field, but King said he could be swayed in another direction if a promising opportunity came up elsewhere.

“Then again, I’d like to check out all of the other tables and see what they have to offer,” said King. “One thing I will say is there are a lot of entry-level positions here that they are offering, so I find a lot of interest in that.”

King is from Michigan but he said that potential opportunity may even convince him to stay in West Virginia to work if it’s feasible enough.

He said he has already seen more work opportunities opening up here in the state since he’s been coming to West Virginia.

“My aunt actually does work at this school, so I used to visit in the past, and I will say that it’s progressively more and more things have seemed to come here in the past few years,” said King.

Maraikayer, who is from West Virginia, said he definitely has seen how much of the job market here has grown enough that it should convince more young people to stay and work in the state.

“There’s a real effort being made, it’s just sad to see because everyone is leaving sometimes, but there are so many opportunities open to us and a lot of people aren’t taking advantage of it and it makes me upset,” Maraikayer said.

One of the companies boasting employment opportunities at Tuesday’s expo was Manpower, a locally-owned staffing and recruiting company.

Manpower Branch Manager Bobbie Ward said as a company that already focuses on assisting employers in finding reliable, skilled employees, university job fairs are an ideal time for them to recruit, as more and more jobs become available.

“The goal is to hopefully do our part to help retain the talent in the area, we have a lot of new industry coming in that’s going to need some skilled talent, as far as even entry type roles, but with the students in particular, you know, to just let them know what’s here,” said Ward.

Other companies and organizations being represented at Tuesday’s event included Goodwill, Northwestern Mutual, Enterprise, the Transportation Security Administration, among many others. They were offering full and part-time opportunities as well as internships.

Several colleges were also there with information regarding graduate programs. They not only included WVSU, but Concord University and the University of Charleston.