The Saratoga Economic Development Corp. (SEDC), along with the Saratoga-Warren-Washington Workforce Development Board and the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE) BOCES, are collaborating with employers and school districts to launch the inaugural annual Career Jam.
The event, to be held at HVCC’s TEC-SMART, 345 Hermes Road, Ballston Spa, on Oct. 25 in Malta, aims to promote area job opportunities to raise awareness among eighth and ninth grade students, their families and educators of the direct skills and jobs needed in the region.
Organizers said highlighting these job options earlier can help influence student education and training choices and retain their talents to fill local jobs that can drive future growth.
“We are excited to partner with key stakeholders in business and education to deliver this first-of-its-kind event in our region,” said Dennis Brobston, president of SEDC. “This student-employer exchange is in direct response to the voiced concerns of business leaders and educators wanting to better align skills development with needed workplace job opportunities.
“The number one challenge for businesses of all sectors and sizes in recent years is finding workplace ready employees. By collaborating with area school districts, the regional BOCES, and the area Workforce Development Board, we identified from our friends in the North Country this fun, engaging method to bring young people and employers together.”
SEDC’s Advance Saratoga strategic initiative has prioritized improved workforce development. Its advisory team of local employers and education leaders helped to highlight the need to better align students with current and future employer needs, officials said.
“We are working to improve teacher and student recognition of the area workforce needs, now and in the future,” said Dr. Joseph Greco, K-12 director of math, science and technology at Saratoga Springs Central School District.
“Career Jam will be a great way to engage our students outside the classroom in a fun setting with local employers demonstrating the skills they need applied at meaningful jobs. We look forward to exposing our eighth and ninth graders to these opportunities at this showcase event for years to come,” Greco said.
The event will highlight the skills needed for employment across the 16 career clusters: agriculture, food and natural resources; architecture and construction; arts, A/V technology and communications; business, management and administration; education and training; finance; government and public administration; health sciences; hospitality and tourism; human services; information technology; law, public safety, corrections and security; manufacturing; marketing; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; transportation, distribution and logistics
“As the chair of the Workforce Development Board and an employer at Espey Manufacturing and Electronics Corp., we are excited to hold this event to showcase the diverse skills and job options our region has to offer,” said Peggy Murphy, director human resources/corporate secretary/FSO. “We need to do a better job connecting to young people and their families so they recognize good career options do exist in our communities. That’s the clearest path for us to help stimulate a pipeline of willing and prepared job applicants to fill future job openings that will keep our businesses competitive in the future. We strongly encourage more employers and schools to participate so this becomes a sustained, growing event.”
Local businesses from each career cluster will be present with hands-on activities to engage and encourage students to look at the many career opportunities and areas of study that are relevant to workforce skills needed in our region.
For more information or to sign up a school or business, visit www.Career-Jam.com.