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Around the world in two days: Worlds of Work Expo coming to the VBC

HUNTSVILLE – Make Construction World a first stop on this career trip around the world, where eighth-graders can hold a hammer in one hand and a nail in the other and experience what it feels like to hammer nails into wood.

If that is interesting, take a side trip to Healthcare World. Here, students can learn how to perform chest compressions on a mannequin to test their natural instincts for nursing or even a medical doctor.

Keep exploring with a visit to Energy World. The kids can try on rubber lineman’s gloves and virtually simulate what it is like being up on a power pole.

The Worlds of Work Career Expo returns to the Von Braun Center South Hall for two days Sept. 28-29. The Expo’s mission is to make area eighth-grade students familiar with career opportunities available throughout the region.

(North AlabamaWorks! contributed)

Presented by North AlabamaWorks!, Worlds of Work brings together eighth-graders from 13 counties to help open their eyes to career opportunities.

Students can tour all the industry-specific worlds through hands-on activities.

“Worlds of Work is unlike most job and career fairs where you walk up to a table and pick up a brochure to take home, although there is certainly nothing wrong with that,” said Candace Williams, Communications & Outreach programs manager for North AlabamaWorks! “But with eighth-graders, you have to interact with them, make it fun and introduce them to things they may never have done before.”

(North AlabamaWorks! contributed)

North AlabamaWorks! is a hub for everything workforce in North Alabama and according Williams, eighth grade is the perfect age for Worlds of Work.

“While some kids will certainly follow in their parents footsteps in terms of a career, most kids will not,” said Williams. “In fact, surveys show that most eighth graders have not given a second’s thought to what they want to do for a job or career when they graduate.

“In eighth grade, you can help kids start thinking about what they might enjoy doing,” she added.

One way to do that, Williams said, is to show them the companies there are to work for in North Alabama and show them all the amazing things we make here and/or sell here.

“By ninth through 12th grade, the student is already on a career pathway where they are choosing classes that will lead them in one direction or another, in one career or industry or another,” she said. “At that age, they may want to take a career tech class in something like welding, or a health sciences class that will lead to a certified nursing assistant, et cetera.”

As Jules Verne said in “Around the World in 80 Days,” “I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man (or woman) wants to see something new.”

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