By Corrie Melton, Vice President of Membership and Talent Development, Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
ASPIRE Capital Region partners recently hosted the inaugural North Florida Worlds of Work (WOW) career expo. Although the event is not an official event of ASPIRE, each of the host partners, including Tallahassee Community College, Lively Technical College, Tallahassee – Leon County Office of Economic Vitality, CareerSource Capital Region, and the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce are all active stakeholders in the capital region’s local college access network.
This two-day event is the first of its kind in the North Florida area and the first official, “Worlds of Work” in the state. The Chamber first learned of Worlds of Work through their national Chamber association. West AlabamaWorks, the local workforce board in Tuscaloosa, AL, hosted Innovation Tours in 2022. We were blown away by the magnitude and energy of the Worlds of Work. Think of it like Epcot. Instead of each world representing a different country, each world now represents a different industry.
Within each world, employers of the region built hands-on activities for students showcasing local careers that are in-demand and pay good wages. It was beautiful to see employers and students interacting, talking about careers, and using equipment they may have only seen on television.
Over 2,000 ninth grade students attended the event over the two days. Students from across the Capital Region attended including Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties. On the first afternoon, several hundred 10th – 12th grade students attended on their own or with a parent after school. Many came with parents who were equally enthralled by the event. We have already had parents, teachers, and employers reach out, unsolicited, to thank us for bringing WOW to our region.
You can check out our stories online and on our social sites using #NFLWorldsofWork.