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Nearly 10,000 students to attend MiCareerQuest Southeast, region's largest career exploration event

Students from 107 southeast Michigan high schools are set to converge on the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi as MiCareerQuest Southeast – the region’s largest-ever career exploration event – connects 9,700 students with representatives from 114 companies and organizations.

The students, from schools in Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, will engage in a broad range of interactive, hands-on activities with more than 500 working professionals from 114 exhibiting organizations in four growing career quadrants: advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. More than 125 of the most in-demand occupations in the state will be showcased. The day-long event is set for November 28.

“The Suburban Collection Showplace will be bulging at the seams with so much to see and do, as our young people explore so many exciting career opportunities,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who plans to attend. “I expect this event, which directly addresses employers’ calls for help in filling critical jobs, to be inspiring and engaging for all those participating.”

MiCareerQuest Southeast is coordinated by Michigan Works! and the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs. The Michigan Talent Investment Agency (TIA) is the presenting sponsor of the event.

During their visit, students and their chaperones will move between career quadrants over a two-hour period. The venue will host three separate sessions from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an average of 3,200 students in each. At least 150 school buses will transport the students and their 600 chaperones to the event. Advanced school registration was required.

Nearly 200 volunteers from Michigan Works! agencies across the state, the Michigan Talent Investment Agency, county government offices, local community colleges and other groups will be on-hand to assist.

“There has been a steady build-up of excitement for this event, among the schools, exhibitors and everyone who has volunteered to help,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County’s manager of workforce development. “This is the first time an event of this nature and size has ever taken place in the southeast Michigan region. I’m expecting a great day.”

Macomb County’s Romeo High School plans to send its entire freshman class of 450 students. In 2019, as part of its transformation into the state’s first Ford Next Generation Learning community, the school will launch a special career academy for students in grades 10-12.

“Every student will be part of a career academy, preparing them with the more advanced skills they need to be successful in college, their careers and life,” said CTE Director Natalie Davis. “We believe MiCareerQuest Southeast is the perfect opportunity to expose our ninth-grade class to what career pathways are available to them prior to academy selection.”

According to Michigan Talent Investment Agency data, almost half of the companies the agency works with across the state indicate they struggle to find qualified people to fill their job vacancies. Wanda M. Stokes, director of the Talent Investment Agency, said MiCareerQuest Southeast is a unique event to help address the long-term challenge of filling this talent pipeline.

“The Talent Investment Agency’s WorkShare program is proud to serve as the 2018 Presenting Sponsor of MICareerQuest Southeast,” Stokes said. “The unique, experiential learning approach that MICareerQuest takes provides students with hands-on exploration of high-demand, high-wage careers in their region. Immersion into hands-on learning is what ultimately helps students find their passion, so they can, in turn, discover their purpose. MICareerQuest understands that extending career exploration beyond the walls of the school and creating opportunities for students to engage with business professionals is critically important in providing students with a variety of career path choices.”

In addition to the Talent Investment Agency, major event sponsors include platinum sponsors Beaumont Health in health sciences and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in advanced manufacturing. Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, the Building and Construction Trades Council and MUST (Management & Unions Serving Together) are joint platinum sponsors in the construction quadrant.

Other major sponsors include Oakland Community College, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Michigan Works! Southeast, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, Oakland County Michigan Works!, SEMCA Michigan Works!, Kelly Services, Automation Alley and Ascension Michigan.

Beaumont Health will showcase several occupations. Aaron Gillingham, chief human resources officer, said Beaumont is investing in the future for the region’s children.

“There’s no better place to be than in front of 10,000 students to highlight the great career options we have at Beaumont and across the medical sector,” he said. “MiCareerQuest Southeast will educate people on the types of opportunities available now, as well as the types of careers they can have in the future.”

A list of occupations to be showcased, including the organizations who are staffing exhibits, is attached. For more information, visit oakgov.com/micareerquestse.
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