The Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region is bringing a career expo to Cambridge for students in Grade's 7 to 12.
It’s part of the investment the organization is making to create a brighter, more prosperous future for the community.
The expo, “Explore Your Future”, will have local businesses, post-secondary institutions and community organization in attendance to meet with families about what options are available as students make their way towards graduation.
“It’s about understanding what career and educational options are out there,” Scott Verhoeve, executive director of Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region said.
“Students and their families can get advice, have their questions answered and see what next steps they can take in figuring out what they want to do in their future careers.”
The idea was initially piloted in Kitchener in 2017. At the most recent expo in 2019 over 600 students and parents, and 75 exhibitors participated.
After hearing from members of the community it was decided to create an option specifically in Cambridge. Toyota, Conestoga College and Grandbridge Energy are just a few of the local businesses and schools that will be in attendance.
“We encourage exhibitors to have interactive booths,” Verhoeve said.
“People can interact with exhibitors about career options, educational programs and volunteer opportunities.”
Verhoeve says the event is much more than a job fair and encouraging younger students to attend is an important part of the process.
“The decisions younger people are making now are influencing what they pay attention to later,” he said.
“There’s a process of narrowing down what they’re interested in as they get older. When they get to Grade 8 and 9 they may not know what they want to do, but they start to think about what they don’t want to do.”
According to the BEP Waterloo Region website, 86 per cent of past participants feel more confident about their, or their child’s, future career choices, 87 per cent have a stronger understanding of how career options fit with their interests and 100 per cent of exhibitors would recommend the opportunity to other companies.
With so much information about jobs and career planning available, having the opportunity to meet in-person and speak to someone directly can bring clarity to decision making, Verhoeve says.
“Everybody recognizes there’s a challenge with our workforce,” he said.
“There’s so much information out there but it can be hard to make sense of it. Face-to-face conversations with people in the community can provide insight. We all need to be playing a role in investing in our future. It’s good for business and it’s good for young people.”
The “Explore Your Future” career expo will take place at the Tapestry Hall on April 13 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information and to register visit bepwr.ca.