Wow! That is what we keep hearing from folks that attended this year's Family Career Awareness Day. Wow...there were a lot of people and businesses there, wow...the kids had great questions, wow...the kids shook my hand and looked me in the eye. All told there were 321 total attendees (113 parents and 208 youth), and 48 businesses. To see the full list of businesses that attended, click here. It was clear that the community was in full support this year, and we really appreciate it.
Our list of businesses/local employers was quite varied this year. There were realtors, artists, local manufacturers, and educators. Business size started at mom and pop businesses, all the way to global corporations. Familiar occupations - lawyers, accountants, health care - were right alongside niche occupations, such as specialized makers of signs, trucks, and metal fittings. I bet most people did not realize the wide variety of occupations that we have in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
This year, by far, had the most student attendees! We attribute this year's success to the increased support of the schools in the area and to how many students Tonya Davis, our BB2C Coordinator, was able to talk to in advance. Seven area school districts, in Washington and Wood Counties, made time for Tonya to speak to groups and individual classes about the event. During her talks, she makes sure the students know about networking, shaking hands, looking the employers in the eye, asking questions, and really looking at this opportunity as a first interview. One of these businesses could be their first employer, and the students need to know that. Teachers and schools encouraged students to attend by offering incentives, and that really helps!
At first glance of the surveys, many students attended for the incentive offered by their schools, however, they definitely ended up learning more about the careers and jobs available in our area. Many students even stated that the information they learned during the event will help them choose the classes they need. Specific careers and employers were listed that they wanted to know more about, and most students stated that they will use what they learned to make a plan for their future. Honestly, that is exactly what we need them to do....make a plan for their future. As parents know, getting students in grades 7-12 to think about their future is a difficult task at best. If their plans leads them successfully to a local employer, then everyone benefits and we get ever closer to our vision of Successful Students, Prosperous Communities.