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Economic Leaders, Employers, Students Converge for Career Jam

SOUTH HADLEY — The region’s premier economic luminaries, employers, and Mount Holyoke students will converge at Mount Holyoke College today, not for a career fair, but for a meeting of the minds.

Among the planned attendees at Career Jam are Suzanne Beck, executive director of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce; Dianne Doherty, regional director of the Massachusetts Small Business Center; Dawn Creighton, Western Massachusetts director of Associated Industries of Massachusetts; and Lora Wondolowski, executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley. Employers including Bay Path University, Arise for Social Justice, Peoples Bank, and Paragus Strategic IT will also be represented.

“Career Jam is different than an ordinary career fair,” said Josepha Martin, director of Employer Relations at Mount Holyoke’s Career Development Center. “We wanted to bring employers and students together to talk about a real problem in a meaningful way.”

To that end, Career Jam asks students and employers alike to brainstorm together about a pressing question facing this area: how do we recruit and retain talented graduates in Western Mass.? “The idea is that we’re doing something more like a hands-on workshop, and getting these people together in a room to solve a problem in real time,” said Martin. “It’s going to be about brainstorming and creative problem solving with employers.”

Career Jam will feature economic leaders from the region, including representatives from the Greater Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce, small-business-development groups, and leadership organizations. Large, regional employers will also be present to engage with students. The half-day event will take place from 2:30 to 7 p.m. in the Willits-Hallowell Conference Center on the Mount Holyoke College campus.

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