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Our 2016 Career Fair was a huge success! Read all about it and view images from the event below

The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Scott Air Force Base STEAM Advisory Group, and the Regency Conference Center hosted its 6th Annual 8th Grade Career Exploration Fair on April 28th.  620+ eighth-graders from across O’Fallon and Shiloh public and private schools attended the fair.

The purpose of this fair is to give the students a chance to get more information on the future careers in which they’re interested.  There is some preparation built into the 8th grade curriculum with follow-on work built into the 9th grade curriculum.  The 70+ role models give up a full day of work to come out to the fair and speak with the students about their professions.  Chamber Executive Director Debbie Arell-Martinez believes that’s because local businesses know these students will be part of the workforce in a few short years and want to give the students every opportunity to find out about as many opportunities as they can before they have to make lifelong decisions.

District 90 Superintendent, Carrie Hruby, tells us, “I was very impressed with the career fair!  Mentors from a wide variety of careers gave students personal attention and answered their individual questions.  The eighth grade students were professional in their appearance and interactions with the mentors.  It was a terrific opportunity for 8th graders to make decisions about future career choices.”

Shiloh School District 85 Superintendent, Dale Sauer, believes, “What has been created through the partnerships and collaboration of many, led by our Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement, is a remarkable opportunity for our students entering into their first year of high school.  The chance to interact with over 70 professionals in various occupations is not available through any other venue.  Shiloh students and staff are grateful.”

Central School District 104, Joseph Arthur Middle School Principal, Jered Weh, says, “One of the best orchestrated and attended career fair to date! The students seemed to really enjoy it! We are very lucky to have the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber sponsor this!”

Dave Hopkins, First Bank, and Chairman of the Chamber’s Education Committee, says, “The career fair is so rewarding to our presenters and to our students.  It is the result of a great partnership between the business community and the public and private schools in the O’Fallon and Shiloh area.  The fair gives 8th graders the opportunity to speak with someone in a career field they may be interested in, and just as important, the get exposure to careers they may have never considered before.”

Carol Bouche, Junior Achievement, says, “As I looked around the conference center, I was once again amazed at the smiling faces of all of the role models and students who were so engaged. The positive comments I heard from so many students and the business role models were unbelievable.  Many students said this was their best day ever and they were excited to begin their education relating to the career they want to pursue.  So many of the business role models commented on how they wished they would have had this opportunity in school. This opportunity gave the students the chance to learn in depth about several different careers. The selection of careers offered included representatives from the sixteen career pathways with a wide variety of professions. This event has become a tradition for so many involved and I look forward to many more successful years.”

Chamber Director Debbie Arell-Martinez tells us, “This career fair wouldn’t happen without the partnership between the business community and the local schools.  Together we really can make a difference.”

Many thanks to this year’s sponsors:  Scott Air Force Base STEAM Advisory Group, Junior Achievement, First Baptist Academy, LF & Son Construction, Schaefer Autobody Centers, TheBANK of Edwardsville, American Eagle Credit Union, Olson Orthodontics, Adventures in Cuisine, Right from the Start Pediatrics, State Farm – Elisa Hager, Bella Milano, and the Hilton Garden Inn/Regency Conference Center.

Next year’s Career Fair is scheduled for May 4th.