By Lethbridge Herald on February 12, 2020.
Call it career “speed-dating;” call it getting off to great start for a future of work; or call it a networking exercise. Whatever you call it, the EPIC interactive career fair is about helping high school students find a way forward toward finding their first job or potential career, said Career Transitions executive director Judy Stolk-Ingram.
“EPIC, in a nutshell, is all about exploration,” Stolk-Ingram explained. “There are over 500 students here that are being introduced to about 80 different occupations. We want them to learn about these future career pathways so that when they get to the point where they are finished high school, they have a better idea of what their next step might be.”
The 21st annual Career Transitions EPIC career event took place at Exhibition Park on Wednesday, and included high school students from eight southwestern Alberta school divisions. Students were encouraged to move along to a new exhibitor every few minutes to get exposure to as wide a variety of potential careers as possible; thus the “speed-dating” comparison, said Stolk-Ingram.
“Career exploration at this level is about a starting point,” she stated. “It’s about helping kids to understand what is there. Nobody can predict what they are going to retire from; especially youth today. Many of these kids here today are going to be working in occupations that haven’t even been invented yet. But if they can get off to a great start, figure out what their interests are, what they are drawn to, what their strengths are, and get off to a good start then we know they can take it the rest of the way from there.”
EPIC encompassed four general realms of potential careers for participants to explore from STEM, to environment and agriculture, to health care, to trades — all categories important to fulfil southwestern Alberta’s critical workforce needs of the near and farther future, stated Stolk-Ingram.
“We want to encourage kids to look at the opportunities that are going to allow them to stay here in southwestern Alberta, and build our communities and help our economy to grow,” she said.
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