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The Career Exploration Fair will provide an avenue for high school freshmen in Nashville schools to explore a breadth of career areas. As opposed to a Job Fair where students visit companies, the career fair will allow companies to work together to represent career areas for students to explore. The majority of dropouts occur between the freshman and sophomore year. Our goal is to raise awareness and excitement that will allow freshmen to talk with local professionals about their interests and see the relevance of their studies. The fair will host approximately 7,000 freshmen from the Academies of Nashville and the Magnets of Nashville on Friday, October 7 at the Music City Center. Students will complete career exploration research at school in preparation for their visit and learn about “professionalism.” They will also participate in an essay contest and other follow-up activities to show what they learned. They will speak with at least three booth volunteers, ask questions, and participate in hands-on activities.
On the day of the event, exhibitors will be set up and participate in an exhibitors’ meeting at 7:00 AM. Students will begin to arrive at the fair by 7:30. Approximately 600-700 students are tentatively scheduled at any given point of the day between 7:30 and 2:00 PM. To accommodate all of our students, we will need to showcase approximately 250 careers. Each of the five Partnership Councils will organize a section of the fair (approximately 5,000 square feet) to represent their respective industry areas.
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The councils are responsible for their area’s layout, number of booths, and portrayed careers. At any given time, approximately 50 volunteers will be needed to staff the booths in each of the five areas. They will speak with students about their careers and others they know about. Each booth will allow students to participate in an activity and learn about the skills and education required for each career. During planning, please consider the following items:
Students represent a wide range of proficiencies, so careers should reflect a broad spectrum of post-secondary requirements.
Students need to learn about the difference between entry and upper level positions as well as career paths to which they can aspire.
National trends are causing changes to careers in each industry area. Some careers will provide better opportunities than others for future employment.
Students are drawn to hands-on activities; therefore, each booth should have an interactive component to engage student interest.
Volunteers will be able to load-in and tear-down during the designated times before and after the event. They will also be responsible for ensuring that their exhibits have an adequate number of volunteers at any given time and will be allowed to rotate in shifts throughout the day as is convenient for them. On behalf of MNPS and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the generosity of our business partners in donating their time, space, and equipment is greatly appreciated and will ultimately ensure the success and lasting impact of the Career Exploration Fair.