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Junior Achievement to Hold JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair on May 28

SPRINGFIELD — Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM), now celebrating its centennial anniversary, will host the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair on Tuesday, May 28 from 8 a.m. to noon at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield.

“We’re excited to offer this event for the first time in our region, as it’s been very successful in other parts of the country,” said Jennifer Connolly, president of JAWM. “We will host more than 500 students from seventh through 11th grades, who will have the opportunity to explore diverse career options at interactive booths featuring colleges, universities, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, companies, local law enforcement, and public-safety organizations from throughout Western Massachusetts.”

The JA Inspire program provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers from industry representatives in time to begin planning for high-school coursework and better prepare themselves for life after graduation. The program consists of four in-class lessons, plus the career exploration fair, all designed to engage students and help them explore education and career pathways, showcase careers in Western Mass. with a focus on high-wage and high-demand industries, and connect students with industry representatives who can share career advice and offer interactive exhibits during the career fair.

“LENOX/Stanley Black and Decker is honored to participate in the JA Inspire program,” said Erica Pellegrino, the company’s senior manager, Human Resources. “We look for opportunities to partner with our local communities to develop and educate future leaders in manufacturing. We continue to be impressed with the level of commitment that Junior Achievement brings through programs like JA Inspire.”

Added Connolly, “in addition to benefitting students, the JA Inspire program benefits our communities and businesses. It allows businesses, higher education, and apprenticeship programs the opportunity to participate in building Western Massachusetts’ future workforce, which strengthens the entire region.”

Alicia Pare of Florence Bank, a JA of Western Mass. board member, noted that “we signed on quickly with JA Inspire to be part of their career fair because I’ve seen first-hand how the interactive, hands-on experience motivates students to speak with local business professionals and inspires and develops career aspirations. Florence Bank is excited to be part of a program that aids in the strong development of young people that will go on to contribute to our local economy in the future.”

Exhibitor space is still available at no charge. Exhibitors will present interactive and engaging career stations, while providing volunteer mentors to staff the career stations throughout the event. To reserve a career station, contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected]. To learn more about the event, visit jawm.org/events or call (413) 747-7670.

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