CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Middle schoolers across South Carolina are getting an early look at career fields and industries that may interest them.
The Junior Achievement Inspire Virtual event starts Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. for seventh and eighth graders.
Junior Achievement of Greater SC President and CEO Casey Pash says eighth graders are required by the state to have an individual graduation plan. She says this program allows them to start looking at future careers and better select which classes they want to take in high school.
“One of the things that Junior Achievement has done for 102 years is help ready the workforce, and we will continue to do that,” Pash said. “So, partnering with businesses is critical to our success.”
Students will log in throughout the day on Friday and visit different career booths where they can learn about different jobs. They’ll also have question-and-answer sessions with different companies.
Pash says about 1,200 students in the Lowcountry plan to attend the live event on Friday.
She says many businesses with offices in the Lowcountry will be in attendance. Some of those include Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield, Dominion Energy, Berkeley Electric, and Trident Tech.
There are also keynote speakers with pre-recorded seminars targeted to students. Those include Gov. Henry McMaster, State Superintendent Molly Spearman, and national businessman Mark Cuban.
“Many of our districts do face-to-face field trips, career fairs, and that simply has not happened this year,” Pash said. “So, Junior Achievement has been able to bridge the gap and provide our virtual experience so that kids can still learn about these careers and opportunities.”
Pash says about 69.7% of the students that Junior Achievement served last year were on free and reduced lunch. She says they understand it may be harder for schools in more rural areas to get to field trips in more urban areas, even after pandemic regulations. That’s why she says they plan to continue this virtual career event in the future.
Pash says if you aren’t signed up for Friday’s virtual program, you can still reach out to them by phone or their website to get signed up.
You’ll be able to view the speakers and career booths anytime throughout April and May.