Building a skilled workforce is a priority for our state’s business community. In order to maintain Utah’s top performing economy, and with an increase in population imminent, now more than ever Utah’s business community is putting education and workforce development at the forefront of their company both to meet the demand for current jobs and prepare for future growth.

On October 25, students, educators, industry leaders, higher education partners and school districts from across the state are kicking off a 2-day event geared toward connecting and introducing students to career opportunities to help build Utah’s workforce. The 2nd Annual Pathways to Professions Career & Technical Education Showcase is hosted by the Utah State Board of Education, Department of Workforce Services, Wasatch Front South Consortium, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Talent Ready Utah initiative. Last year, 117 industry and 90 education partners participated, with over 9,000 high school juniors, seniors and college students in attendance. Building off this success, this year’s event is expected to have even more students and exhibitors participating.

Students and their parents often don’t know or fully understand the breadth of career opportunities available to them while at the same time businesses struggle to fill high demand jobs. This event provides a way to introduce students to various industries in a fun and interactive way and also get businesses working with students and helping to develop and expand the workforce pipeline. As part of their exhibit, each industry partner at the showcase provides a hands-on activity for students to experience and learn an aspect of their job, highlighting both the variety of jobs available and the career and technical education pathways that can lead to high wage, high demand careers. Some past Pathways to Professions participants have been offered apprenticeships, internships or even full-time jobs based on the interactions with industry leaders during the event.

Event organizers believe that businesses showing students what their company or industry does, instead of simply telling them will attract more interest and help demonstrate the necessary skills students need to be successful in a future career. The event will feature exhibitors from all industries–everything from agriculture to construction to business and aerospace and everything in between.

As Superintendent Sydnee Dickson put it during the September Prosperity 2020 forum, students need to be educationally prepared with the necessary skills to have choices for their future. The Pathways to Professions Career & Technical Showcase is a way to help both students and businesses connect and learn from each other, ensuring they have the skills they need to be build a stronger workforce.

The Pathways to Professions Showcase is from 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM on October 25 and 26th at the South Towne Expo Center. It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://ctepathwaysutah.com/