The Crusader Newspaper Group

NextGen Youth Expo explores career opportunities

When the Center of Workforce Innovations hosted the inaugural NextGen Youth Expo last year, the organization was pleasantly surprised by the number of youths genuinely seeking guidance and career paths. In planning the 2nd Annual NextGen Youth Expo, CWI invited additional youth service providers and sought the input of young people, ages 16 to 24, to help determine the direction of this year’s event.

As a result, the event has moved to Purdue University Northwest in Hammond and is scheduled for Monday, April 24, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Hands-on and interactive sessions, plus presentations on healthcare, technology, and skilled trades industries are planned. Forty-six employers, educational institutions, local businesses, and youth service providers are participating.

“Throughout the day, young people will have access to a resource and opportunity fair complete with information booths presented by Northwest Indiana’s leading employers, institutions of higher education, training and resource providers,” said Dominique Smiley, Director of Youth Engagement for CWI. “Our collective mission is to inform and empower the future of Northwest Indiana’s workforce.”

Outreach for the event has included engaging high schools, career and technical institutions, and targeting out-of-school youth who may be in low-paying positions or seeking better career opportunities.

“We want all of Northwest Indiana to realize that there is an abundance of opportunities for our youth right here,” said Smiley. “Whether they are interested in higher education, learning skills, seizing training opportunities, pursuing their dreams, making money, gaining independence or all of the above … we have the resources right here, right now to make positive things happen.”

The 2nd Annual NextGen Youth Expo is sponsored by Alverno Laboratories, Centier Bank, First Financial Bank, Geminus and Purdue University Northwest.

For more information, contact Dominique Smiley at (219) 248-6843 or [email protected].

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