LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - At least 1,200 students from Limestone, Morgan and Madison counties will get a jump-start into their careers.
"It's a really good experience"
Calhoun Community College is helping students think about their next steps.
"It's a really good experience because I have so many opportunities to look at future jobs," said West Morgan High School Senior Reese Rodgers
One of the first steps is learning more about advanced manufacturing, automotive, medical and career technical education - before they get to college. The Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce and the Morgan County Economic Development Association helped out as well.
Learn about different career paths
West Morgan High School senior Graison Baker said he was happy "just getting to meet a bunch of people from different career paths."
People working the booths could give students like Rodgers and Baker a job one day. High school juniors and seniors potentially shook hands with their future employers in today's Career and Workforce Expo.
Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer Williamson said students need to be exposed to what the community offers locally.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
"Recently we had a number of industries to announce that they're locating to the area, so workforce is definitely an issue that we are trying to address," said Williamson.
So the community brought those jobs to the students. Alabama needs to fill hundreds of thousands of STEM-related jobs by 2026.
"Some of the things I thought about is cosmetology or physical therapy - maybe even nursing," said Rodgers.
To meet demand, North Alabama is looking to the future to raise the labor force. Organizers said dozens of business and manufacturing industries like Mazada Toyota, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and many others participated in today's career expo.