After successfully piloting the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair last year, JA New Jersey (JANJ) relaunched the career explorations program for middle and high school students earlier this spring. The innovative program includes an in-class curriculum designed to help students discover their career strengths and interests, concluding with a virtual visit to the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair.
The annual event is designed to gather the business community and New Jersey schools to help launch students into their future. Through this initiative, JA has been able to efficiently bring industry leaders into the classroom through a virtual event platform, which validates education partners’ trust in JA as an essential solutions provider.
Accessible to students for nine months this year, program features include updated curriculum, more diverse jobs, along with companies to explore, and an additional live day where volunteers can engage with students live via chat box to answer career questions from students. Just like last year, students have flexibility in navigating the platform by uncovering a wide variety of career clusters found in the virtual lobby, watching keynote speakers in the auditorium, and exploring the expo hall to learn about participating companies.
The program has already garnered outstanding results since it’s relaunch, with engagement and participation from various districts across New Jersey. An 11th grader at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne shared positive feedback, stating “I was inspired by the different booths and the videos that were presented to me because it gave me an insight of the career path I want to follow. I learned about various companies and the requirements I need to have in order to qualify.”
Since the interactive digital platform has an extended period for students to explore career pathways, educators are encouraged to register their students so they can begin planning their future. Given that New Jersey school districts have been constantly adapting over the past two years, this immersive virtual experience serves as a practical, user-friendly educational solution. The portal offers students a refreshingly new learning experience, where they can explore opportunities in a safe and collaborative setting. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the concept of a career fair was limited, whereas now JA and participating organizations can expand the scope beyond what an in-person event could offer. Moreover, students and parents can access the virtual platform at any time to browse exhibit booths and webinars or download career information to reference in the future.
Businesses have emphasized the need and strategic focus in today’s world to build an even more diverse workforce. With the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair expected to reach over 15,000 participating students before the school year end, there is a huge opportunity for NJ companies to build tomorrow’s workforce today. For that reason, businesses and organizations are encouraged to share their passion and drive to secure their talent pipeline through participation in career exploration platform this year by having an exhibitor booth.
Thanks to the sponsorship support so far this year, thousands of New Jersey students will be able to develop visions for career pathways, and the motivation to explore diverse professions. Ranging from technology to marketing, finance, engineering, trades, public service, entrepreneurship, legal, AI, cybersecurity, and more, the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair offers participating companies a chance to focus their engagement on what they want young people to know about their world of work, including careers, internships, and company culture.
JA is seeking participation from over 100 businesses looking to showcase careers, training resources, and entry-level job opportunities in New Jersey. This year’s sponsors include Presenting Sponsors: ADP, Amazon, Merck, and Sanofi; Platinum Sponsors: Chick-fil-A, Church & Dwight, Colliers, Investors Bank, Kearny Bank, NJM, Phillips 66, Quest Diagnostics, and UPS; Gold Sponsors: Deloitte, Genmab, JPMorgan Chase & Co., New Jersey Resources, Novartis, and Williams; Silver Sponsors: AIG, Atlantic City Electric, Avanade, Bristol Myers Squibb, Crowe, CSAA Insurance Group, ETS, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, Munich Re, NRG, SJI, Solar Landscape, State Farm, and US Silica. Various sponsorship opportunities for participating businesses help support the operating costs of JA Inspire and JA New Jersey’s work in communities across the state.
JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair is available at no cost to students. Students may participate through their school or independently, and pre-registration is required to access the virtual platform. To learn more about JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair, click here. To become a sponsor, please contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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