JA JobSpark ignites interest in future careers

Attend any design and construction industry gathering these days, and eventually, the conversation will most likely land on talent. From the need for experienced designers to the shortage of construction workers, it seems everyone is looking for good people.

When it comes to filling the talent pipeline in any industry, we must take the long view and start early. And by early, I don’t mean college or even high school. We need to start educating students on their future career possibilities long before they graduate.

Junior Achievement of Central Indiana’s JA JobSpark initiative does just that. JA JobSpark is designed to create a “spark” among central Indiana 8th graders, introducing them to a variety of career paths during a large-scale, hands-on expo at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This year, JA JobSpark takes place Sept. 25 and 26. We’re expecting 9,600 students to participate, along with more than 1,200 volunteers, and representatives from over 130 companies.

From its inception in 2016, I’ve been involved in planning the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) cluster for JA JobSpark. At each event, I’ve enjoyed helping students understand the jobs available to them in the future, the skills they’ll need, the equipment and technology they’ll use, and the training and education required. Industries represented at JobSpark include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics 
  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction 
  • Business and Finance 
  • Government, Law and Public Service
  • Health and Life Sciences 
  • Hospitality and Tourism 
  • Technology

Volunteer and Make a Difference

Do you want to make an impact on the future of the architecture, engineering and construction industry? I’m currently looking for shift volunteers to help facilitate planned activities with the JA JobSpark A/E/C cluster. Volunteers should be:

  • knowledgeable of the A/E/C industry
  • able to communicate industry-specific skills, education needed, jobs                           available, etc.
  • able to actively engage students in hands-on activities
  • energetic, enthusiastic and comfortable working with students
  • able to assist cluster members with running hands-on activities
  • able to give activity instructions and make sure they’re being followed and                 monitor equipment and supplies

To learn more about JA JobSpark and volunteer, visit jajobspark.org or register by Friday, Aug. 31. I’m confident you’ll find it to be a fun and fulfilling opportunity. CORE Planning Strategies will be working on the Snap Circuits races and K’nex projects – please indicate your interest in those activities if you would like to join us!

JA Centennial Celebration

In connection with Junior Achievement’s 100th anniversary in 2019, I was recently asked to serve on the JA Business Ambassador network strategic team to help develop personal and professional growth through community-wide collaboration. JA Business Ambassadors will spearhead efforts of JA Day, an interactive statewide initiative to develop a strong Indiana workforce by empowering young people to own their future success. The program is a partnership of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana and the Indy Chamber.

Contact me if you’d like to learn more about either of these opportunities!

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