ISD Career Exploration Fair

Posted October 17, 2016

More than 1,000 ISD freshmen visited MCC’s Business and Technology Center in October, meeting with leaders from more than 50 area businesses during the district’s Career Fair. The fair helps students begin to choose what career path they want to pursue.

“So many kids go off to college or decide on a career path, but don’t have a good understanding of what that career entails,” said Dr. Dale Herl, ISD superintendent. “The fair gives those kids an opportunity to talk with those in the business world and see if that’s really the career path they want to go into.”

Several large metropolitan employers, including Cerner, Cisco Systems, Truman Medical Center, Bayer Corporation and Burns and McDonnell, participated in the career fair. Representatives from businesses large and small answered questions and welcomed the opportunity to meet with tomorrow’s workforce.

“I never had anything like this when I was a kid,” said Greg Moore, design architect with Alexander Open Systems, a technological consulting firm. “It exposes them to the different job opportunities there are and plays right into what the district is trying to do with the Ford Next Generation Career Academies.

“It helps students decide what it is they want to do with their lives and start planting those seeds so they can make plans now.”

Thanks to the partnership between the ISD and Ford Next Generation Learning, the district is one of 19 school districts nationwide transforming public high schools into career-themed academies. The academies provide opportunities for high school students to learn academics with the focus on a potential career like engineering, health care, technology and marketing. This model better prepares students for college and professional success in today’s competitive global economy.

“I’ve been very impressed with our students and how engaged they are,” Herl said. “I’m happy we’ve had so much interest from businesses throughout the metro to become partners in our Career Academies.  We are excited about the partnerships and very appreciative of the time these industry leaders spend with our students.”

School districts participating in the Ford NGL program have higher graduation rates, increased academic achievement, lower dropout rates and students with industry certifications earned in high school. You can watch a short video here to learn more.