Eager to interview and even to hire, representatives from more than 40 employers visited Vaughn on Thursday for the College’s annual spring career fair. The three-hour session in the hangar area featured engineering and aviation firms, the military, government agencies and more.

“They always say get out there and network as soon as you get into college,” sophomore engineering student Richard Matute, dressed in his best business attire, said. “I’d like to make some connections either for internships or paid positions.”

The College hosts two career fairs each year. While some of Thursday’s employers attend regularly, others were returning after several years of non-recruitment. Still others were making their first visits to the campus.

Hiring again after several years of a sluggish economy, Cessna Aircraft Company was delighted to be back at Vaughn. “We’ve always had a good relationship with Vaughn students,” human resources representative Cindy Sherwood said. “Vaughn students seem to stay with the company for a long time. They have strong international credentials and that’s important since our growth is going to be global.”

Director of Career Services Philip Meade put the final total at 42 companies, up from 31 in the September fair and 23 from September 2009. ” “It was really well-received by both employers and our students,” Meade said. “Vaughn students really like these events for their convenience and networking potential.”

Peter Ng, representing Panasonic Avionics Corp., had his hands full in describing his company’s mission. The Bothell, Wash.-based subsidiary of the global electronics giant, Panasonic Avionics provides in-flight entertainment to Delta, American and Singapore airlines.

Ng was looking for students with computer backgrounds, an interest in electronics and, ideally, an airframe and powerplant certificate. “We primarily look for students who aspire to learn and grow,” Ng said. “We know that students, especially those at Vaughn, want to have a good job and to be a part of something.”

Rolando Paulino of Suffolk County-based Municipal Testing Laboratories, said his company is always attracted to the variety of engineering programs offered at Vaughn. Municipal Testing is a multidimensional engineering firm, which made Thursday’s fair a natural fit.

“We know that students here have a lot of degree options,” Paulino said. “If they want to get their feet wet in a number of different engineering disciplines, we can provide them with that experience.”

VAUGHN’S SPRING CAREER FAIR attracted a host of companies. Top, Vanessa Cruz, right, an airport management graduate student, listens to a representative from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Center, graduate student Yuecheng Feng chats with Carolyn Tullipano of avPorts. Bottom, brothers (from left) Jacob, Jimmy and Jose Rodriguez at the teaching organization Hobby Quest.