The third annual Marion County Youth Career Expos for middle- and high schoolers are set for Feb. 13 and 14 and will, for the first time, have sessions for public, private and home-schooled students.
The expos bring together students interested in a hands-on look at career opportunities and business representatives interested in meeting and developing their future workforce. In addition, Darrell “Coach D” Andrews, world-renowned motivational speaker and strategist, will discuss “Passion Mapping: Connecting Dreams to Careers.”
Held at the Circle Square Cultural Center, there will actually be three separate expos.
The first takes place Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to middle school students invited by their schools to attend. Students will be transported by school bus to and from the expo, which will also include a box lunch.
A second expo will be held that same day from 5-7 p.m. It is designed for home- schooled students as well as those who attend private or parochial schools and public school students unable to attend one of the invitation-only expos. The evening expo is also open to parents and teachers.
The third expo, for high-school students selected by their school, will be on Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. School transportation will also be used to get students to and from the expo, and a box lunch will be provided.
The daytime expos are broken into three sessions:
· Career Fair where students interact with business representatives about job opportunities and with education providers about training;
· Roundtables where students hear directly from industry leaders; and
· Motivational workshops featuring Darrell “Coach D” Andrews.
The evening expo will feature Coach D’s presentation as well as the Career Fair. While there is no charge to participate, space is limited so those interested in attending are urged to arrive early.
The expos are put on in partnership by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, the Public Education Foundation of Marion County, Marion County Public Schools, Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, and the Mid-Florida Regional Manufacturers Association.
Brenda Chrisman, business development officer for CareerSource CLM, said that after record attendance in 2017 it was clear that a third expo was needed.
Last year, 800 students from every middle- and high school in the district attended – more than double the participation rate and four times as many students as in 2016.
The youth expos showcase career opportunities in information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, construction and public service and education.
Each school develops its own eligibility criteria for inviting students to attend the expo. Students not selected, or unable to attend during the school day, are encouraged to attend the open expo in the evening on Feb. 13.