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updated: 8/2/2016 3:49 PM

Experts, volunteers sought for U-46 expo set for Oct. 1

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Business experts and volunteers are being sought to participate in a communitywide career expo for Elgin-area students Oct. 1.

Elgin Area School District U-46's Explore 2016 curriculum and career expo is an expansion of last year's first full-day expo held at Elgin Community College.

"It was well attended last year," U-46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus said. "We are inviting more people to be part of the planning and preparing for it."

Officials are anticipating roughly 1,000 students and families will attend this year and about 50 organizations and industry representatives.

Supported by Elgin's Alignment Collaborative for Education, this year's expo is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ECC's campus, 1700 Spartan Drive. It primarily is targeted at the nearly 24,000 students in fifth through 12th grades.

Industry experts are sought to demonstrate hands-on career awareness activities related to U-46 Career and Technical Education programs -- precision manufacturing, welding, automotive technology, culinary arts, health care, science, engineering, early childhood education, business management and computer science, and graphic design and printing.

Volunteers also are being sought to help with sponsorships, set-up/break-down, technology, translation services, first aid/emergency response, food services, marketing communication, media and public relations, hospitality ambassadors, graphic design and printing, and safety and security.

An informational meeting is 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 9 at Advocate Sherman Hospital, 4th Floor Medical Office. U-46 staff members and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and provide more information about the expo.

At the expo, students and parents are invited to learn more about U-46's program offerings, including the district's Career and Technical Education programs through which students can earn professional certifications while still in high school.

"It's really about helping students develop the pathways to be college and career ready," Fergus said. "It's never too late to start looking at what high school should look like, what courses to take ... it really is as much about curriculum as it is careers."

U-46's five high schools offer special academies, a variety of Advanced Placement and honors courses, and numerous electives, she added.

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