Central Alabama Career Discovery Expo opens opportunities for area kids

Central Alabama Career Discovery Expo opens opportunities for area kids
The Central Alabama Career Discovery Expo in Opelika gave eighth-graders a chance to explore a variety of possible careers. (Alabama NewsCenter)

More than 4,000 eighth-graders from at least 10 counties had a chance to see the future during the Career Discovery Expo at Southern Union Community College in Opelika.

Coordinated through Central Alabama Works! Regional Workforce Council, the expo provided students a look at agriculture; architecture and construction; communication and information technology; education and training; hospitality and tourism; manufacturing; automotive manufacturing; health care; public service (law, law enforcement, fire, corrections and military); transportation; distribution and logistics; and energy and utilities.

“The expo provides students with a first-hand look into potential career fields,” said Rod Cater, Alabama Power manager and chairman of the event. “All of our industry clusters are vital to the state and our communities. I am hopeful these kids leave the expo with an understanding of what is possible, but also why they are so important.”

Central Alabama Career Discovery Expo helps put students on the path to crucial choices from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

More than 300 volunteers and 110 exhibitors participated.

“What we’re really interested in doing is putting something in front of (the students) that maybe they haven’t thought about before and to give them some more information about that, so that as they go into ninth grade and they start selecting course work for their high school, they can try out those classes and look at the pathway that would lead to these careers and maybe get a leg up on these careers by going through a credentialing process or dual-enrollment,” said Gindi Prutzman, executive director of Central AlabamaWorks!.

This year, Central Alabama Works! launched the Education Workforce Academy at the expo. This program, over the course of four days, gives teachers and administrative officials the tools and knowledge they need to better advise children on potential career opportunities.

Alabama Power is among 40 companies that helped sponsor this successful, educational event. For more information, visit http://www.career-discovery.org/.

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