The Workforce Readiness Expo gives local high school students the
opportunity to visit with Logan County businesses that may one day
offer them a job. In addition, experienced professionals take time
to teach students valuable workforce skills that many business
leaders say are lacking in today's workforce pool.
This year the event will be attended by high school seniors from
Mount Pulaski and Hartsburg-Emden High School as well as Lincoln
Community High School.
This event is not a job fair. The chamber of commerce is
hoping to accomplish two things with the annual Workforce Readiness
Expo. One, it prepares high school students in Logan County for the
next step, whatever that next step would be for them. Second, with
the business expo portion of the day, the chamber hopes to show
Logan County youth that there are viable careers in Logan County, so
they don't have to leave to make a good living.
"Instead of job-shadowing just one career, this event equips
students with needed skills while exposing them to numerous local
occupations," says Kristi Powell, of Heartland Community College and
a member of the chamber committee planning the event.
The third year of the annual Workforce Readiness Expo comes with
some things new and different. The planning committee listened to
feedback from students, teachers and businesses that previously
participated and then made measurable changes.
The workshops being offered this year are based around three
themes -- life success, career success and academic success. The
planning committee felt it would be a good idea to have a keynote
speaker to open the event, and the speaker this year will be John
Blackburn, president of Lincoln College. The business exhibition
portion of the event has been shortened to only an hour and a half
as opposed to all day, to allow time for the keynote speaker.
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Students have had the opportunity to choose between one of four
career panels that will run all day, with topics on agriculture,
business, education and health care. These four categories represent
Logan County's largest employers.
Students were engaged early on to help prepare them for this day.
In addition to filling out a questionnaire on what career panel they
want to attend, students helped develop the questions the moderator
will ask the panelists. Students were also given informational
materials in advance and sat in on an assembly to hear about details
of the event to help better prepare them to take advantage of the
unique opportunity being given to them through the Workforce
"We are hoping that this one-day event, held in partnership with
many organizations and businesses in our community, will provide
high school seniors the skills they need to enter the job market,
and give students the opportunity to engage with local business
leaders that can help guide them on a career path," said Andi Hake,
executive director of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce.
If you are interested in supporting the Workforce Readiness Expo,
or for more details, contact the chamber office at 217-735-2385 or
The Workforce Readiness Expo directly reflects the mission of the
chamber to advocate, support and unify local businesses for the
prosperity of Logan County.
[Text from file received from
the Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce]