NORRISTOWN — A job expo catering to Montgomery County teens looking to learn more about new careers is making a comeback.
“On behalf of the commerce department, and the Montgomery County Workforce Development Board, I am excited to officially announce a return to an in-person, large-scale career fair for our youth, parents and educators in Montgomery County,” said MontcoWorks Executive Director Jennifer Butler.
Shut down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days, the event known as “Manufest,” has since taken a two-year hiatus.
In 2019, the career fair gathered 1,200 attendees, and featured more than 60 employers in the manufacturing and building trades, according to Butler.
Montgomery County workforce officials announced that they have revamped the job fair in a big way, as Butler shared during last week’s Montgomery County Board of Commissioners meeting.
The event is called Careers of Tomorrow, and it will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, located at 100 Station Ave. in Oaks.
The new take on the established career fair is slated to include a multitude of businesses for local students, parents and teachers to learn more and make connections amid increasing demands for jobs.
“We anticipate space for over 100 exhibitors and plan to ensure that those exhibits represent an even distribution of industry,” Butler said.
The push for variety comes as industries face employment shortages and hiring demands increase.
“At the same time we were very much aware that employers across multiple industries are struggling to meet current labor demands, let alone plan for talent pipeline development,” Butler said.
Jane Stein, a research and performance officer with the Montgomery County Workforce Development Board, noted that the “top industries of tomorrow” included more than 20 career paths ranging from health care and social assistance to professional and technical services to retail trade and manufacturing.
Butler and Stein noted in their joint presentation to the trio of country commissioners how Careers of Tomorrow will take a three-prong approach for Montgomery County students, parents and teachers:
Explore activities and how things are made in your community
Learn about career pathways in various sectors including manufacturing and trades, health care, information technology, education, energy, and more
Network with area employers and training providers to make connections for possible work-based learning experiences as well as job opportunities
They added how a guide to Careers for Tomorrow is expected to be published ahead of the event.
“That is really exciting to see how you have re-envisioned this work,” said Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Val Arkoosh. “‘Manufest’ was fantastic, but it sounds like this is going to be even better, and I think creating things like this guide will be incredibly helpful for many of the attendees.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale agreed.
“I’d just like to thank you both for all your efforts in organizing this event,” he said last week. “It’s something I believe is very important.”
Visit the county’s career fair website at https://bit.ly/COT-22 for more information. Anyone with questions can contact Melinda Onchitta, projects coordinator for the county commerce department, at [email protected]