Radford High School hosts TechCon 2018 for New River Valley high school students

RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) -- More than 150 students from high schools in the New River Valley spent the morning at Radford High School.

"You know, we've got a lot of dual enrollment classes, a lot of science, a lot of math that's incorporated here today so that's very good for them to get the hands on effect," said Rick Skeens, the transportation supervisor for Wythe County schools. "Plus, it gets them out of the building, and it's fun."

Universities like Virginia Tech and Radford showed students how to embrace new technology.

"That's what's important about TechCon and things like that, because it'll teach us about technology. That way there's not so much technophobia, which is a real thing," Radford University student, Tray D. Price said.

However, most of the students, like RHS sophomore Elias Cervantes, had no fear trying out virtual reality.

"Getting into it at first, putting it on, and really seeing the word, it felt so real, but at the same time, I knew it wasn't," Cervantes said.

Meanwhile, a representative from TechLab showed them the career possibilities that are right here in Southwest Virginia.

"We are looking to hire new people, looking to tell people what kind of technology and what kind of jobs are here locally, " said Steve Harvey, TechLab's vice president of manufacturing & Radford operations.

Which is exactly the goal of TechCon 2018.

"I think what they'll take away is number one, the opportunities they have in southwest Virginia and two, the careers that are out there in technology that start at a very lucrative salary," said Radford City Schools Superintendent Rob Graham.

"I think the world now is turning to more of a technology standpoint and I think learning about that as a student will set me up for the future," Byron Clark, a junior at Radford, said.

This is the first year RHS has held a tech conference. The superintendent said he hopes to see more events like this for the NRV student body.

"We are all family here in Southwest Virginia," Graham said. "We want to give our students, not only in Radford but those in the surrounding areas, the same opportunities so that hopefully they will go and find a career and come back and live here and be a valued citizen."