While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted in-person career exploration programs for students, Junior Achievement has created a new opportunity for students to explore career pathways and connect with industry experts in a safe and innovative way. Over 22,000 eighth through twelfth grade students from across Minnesota, North Dakota, and Western Wisconsin will participate in the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair this month.
Past in-person career fairs limited the organization’s reach due to space and transportation restrictions. By accessing the program through a digital platform, JA has connected with new schools in counties that were unable to attend before.
“By going digital, we are meeting the needs of our ever-changing education landscape and meeting our students where they are,” said Sara Dziuk, President at JA of the Upper Midwest. “Our new virtual expo allows us to maximize touchpoints with both students and educators while introducing parents and guardians to this unique JA program who typically are not involved first-hand.”
The interactive career fair, presented by Bank of America, exhibits more than 120 organizations from around the region. Company booths include videos, downloadable documents, and links featuring overviews of the organization and even current job vacancies. Inside a virtual auditorium, students can watch pre-recorded webinars that cover a variety of interesting topics.
“Bank of America recognizes that providing youth with access to information and tools on building their careers is key to their future success and greater economic mobility, and a demonstration of our commitment to investing in youth workforce and education programs,” said Katie Simpson, President, Bank of America Twin Cities. “The JA Inspire Career Fair is a comprehensive virtual program that will reach 22,000 students with career ideas and information to which they would not have had access in any other format. The Junior Achievement team has done a remarkable job in putting this together and we are really proud to be the presenting sponsor.”
JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair is available at no cost to students. Students may participate through their school or independently. Pre-registration is required to access the virtual platform. While the career fair is a one-day event, students will be able to access the platform for up to three months allowing time to explore and map their educational and career pathway.