NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 28, 2016) –Technical experts from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District prepared students for future STEM careers during the “My Future, My Way” Career Exploration Fair at two exhibits sponsored by the Metro Nashville Public schools Academies of Nashville and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce at Music City Convention Center Oct. 27, 2016.
More than 7,000 Davidson County high school freshmen students fielded questions about science, technology, engineering, math, business, fire and police agencies, public utilities, and had the opportunity to talk to industry professionals from more than 400 different career areas.
James Sowell, safety officer with the Nashville District Operations Division and Tim Rochelle, engineering technician from the Planning Section, showcased the mobile Emergency Command and Control Vehicle that provides emergency response capabilities in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deployable Tactical Operations System.
Before students toured the vehicle, Sowell talked with hundreds of groups of students about the vehicles functions, its requirements in the National Response Framework to respond to civil emergencies. He also talked about his disaster experiences, especially during 9-11 in New York City.
Students were given a workbook and had 60 minutes to move through the fair and get signatures in their workbook from themed areas. They were encouraged to visit two-three of five areas.
The five themed areas are:
Arts, Media & Communications; Business, Marketing & Information Technology; Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology; Health & Public Services; and Hospitality & Tourism.
The ECCV, as part of the Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Partnership Council section won the ‘Best in Show’ award. Metro Police, Metro Transit Authority and Ford provided visual displays for the fair.
“I was very impressed with the response of students that wanted to see the ECCV,” said Sowell. “This is a great way for these students to get an idea of the many jobs Corps provides and the many jobs that they can do with the Corps of Engineers, I hope some of these young smart people will come work for the Corps someday and the best thing we can do for them as high school students is to provide information about career decisions they should make and help them choose a career path that’s best for them.”
Metro Schools Program Manager Beverly Flatt said the goal is to prepare students for college and ultimately to go after their dream jobs. She said the career fair and academies are designed to give students a good look to what future careers are actually like, so that they can make timely, informed decisions and discover their true passions.
“This event is a big win and start for our students because it allows them to choose an academy that will propel them forward and allow them to excel in a career path of their choice,” said Flatt. “This allows them to develop a four and five year plan so they can start making plans that will impact their future.”
Flatt said more than 200 Middle Tennessee businesses and non-profits participated in the Career Exploration Fair.
Students in the Academies of Nashville, choose what they want to learn. Families have their choice of more than 40 different academies within the 12-zoned high schools in MNPS. Various academies offer a practical, hands-on approach to learning in a field that interests students, ranging from engineering to healthcare.
The Nashville District also set up a large exhibit with various Corps career choices where park rangers, engineers, and administrators talked to students. They shared their knowledge about engineering, water management, locks and dams regulatory program, and the role of park rangers who protect natural resources and the safety of visitors.
Carol Haynes, chief of Equal Employment Office said the Corps’ presence at this event provided the students with information to make choices for their high school academic path and ultimate career choices, and to what services the Corps provides.
“We expanded our participation this year to two areas, we promoted recreation and emphasized emergency response,” said Haynes. “And, what could better demonstrate our emergency response mission than the ECCV and its incredible team? “I’m proud of our energetic volunteers, who through these events get a better appreciation themselves of how unique their jobs are and how unique the Corps is.
Flatt said the annual career fair was hosted by MNPS and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and was sponsored again by Shoney’s.
She said MNPS is really glad to be a partner with the Corps of Engineers and the students were very impressed with the ECCV,” Flatt said. “The sharing of information and partnering – this is a great way for these student to get exposed to careers and businesses that they ordinarily would not know about.”
“I view the My Future, My Way, Career Exploration Fair with its thousands of attendees, and our partnerships with Stratford High School and the Academies of Nashville, as one of the best vehicles to reach an ethnically diverse population and to influence young girls and minorities at an early age to picture themselves in careers like ours in their future,” said Haynes.
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