More than 3,000 high school students across New Orleans will attend the YouthForce NOLA + Junior Achievement Career Expo from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7 at the UNO Lakefront Arena. 

The first in-person Career Expo since 2019 will feature more than 60 local companies, training providers and educational institutions in high-wage, high-demand industries that will share insights to help students consider options for their future careers. 

The annual YouthForce NOLA + Junior Achievement Career Expo is part of a collaborative effort to meet the workforce demands of the region’s fast-growing industries. YouthForce NOLA counts on the participation of local employers to align student programming with industry needs.

“Career-connected learning is proven to increase engagement and performance in school. The Career Expo allows students to explore, plan and network, and ultimately feel inspired about their next steps,” said Cate Swinburn, co-founder & president of YouthForce NOLA. “Working with long-time co-presenter Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans and our many employer partners enables us to engage thousands of students from every public high school in the city.”

The companies and training providers participating in this year’s Career Expo represent YouthForce NOLA’s target industry and skill clusters – business services, digital media/IT, health sciences and skilled crafts – which are forecasted to provide tens of thousands of high-wage, high-demand jobs locally over the next several years. For example:

Several employers will participate under the Riverworks Discovery banner: Associated Terminals, Turn Services, American Contract Bridge League, Delgado River City Site and Advanced Manufacturing Center, Ingram Barge Company, Cooper Consolidated, AccuTrans, the Port of New Orleans and Arcosa. Riverworks has coordinated to bring approximately 10 different types of hands-on outdoor activities related to the maritime industry that will comprise a new “outdoor rotation” section. 

New Orleans & Company and ASM Global New Orleans will showcase great career opportunities within the hotel, restaurant, tourism, facility management and entertainment industry, an amazing testament to how New Orleans is continuing to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Career Expo will include a targeted focus on career pathways for students with disabilities. Virage Community Services, Take The Lead NOLA, Goodwill Industries, Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans and others will highlight supported employment opportunities to ensure that all students have access to gainful employment. 

“It is important to integrate career readiness programs into the K-12 experience for our students to be prepared for career and college success,” said Larry Washington, president of Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans. “We are excited that the annual Career Expo is returning to an in-person event this year. The face-to-face interactions between employers and students are priceless.” 

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