For many young people, a four-year college degree is out of reach due to family obligations or financial restrictions. With that in mind, a collaborative group of service providers in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties came together to host a Non-Traditional Career Fair on Wednesday, February 27. Held at Child Saving Institute, more than 100 young people (many with experience in foster care) visited with more than 30 educational institutions and businesses about careers that often aren’t part of traditional educational pathways.
Organizations such as Valmont, Charles Drew Health Center, Tradesmen International, Omaha Fire & Rescue, as well as a local author, SFX make-up artist, and many others were on hand to explain about the training needed to start in certain careers and what sort of salaries are typical in those fields.
“This was a great example of coming together as a community to make something happen,” said Aaron Weaver of Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Project Everlast. “Child Saving Institute, PALS, PromiseShip, Omaha Home for Boys, and Nebraska Children all collaborated to create this incredible event. I have to give most of the credit to Dinyal McCrae and Katie Griffin who worked to make the Career Fair as productive as possible for the young people, as well as my team at Project Everlast.”
The organizations/individuals on hand to speak with the youth included: Valmont, Metropolitan Community College, Dream It Do It, Tradesman International, No More Empty Pots, Omaha Fire & Rescue, Future Ready Iowa, NEworks, Lozier Corporation, Quest Forward Academy, Job Corps, Respect, Charles Drew Health Center, Total Labor Support, Jessie Cortes (tattoo artist), Brooke Witte (SFX artist), Jacob Hausman (video game tester), Darius Bell (visual artist), Lazelle (music production), Ameristar Casino, Allean Danielle (author), Spruce Staffing, Minnie Fisher (florist), Heartland Workforce Solutions, Nebraska Department of Labor, CSGI, and JobSource USA.
A special thank you goes out to event organizers/sponsors: Target, Tradesman International, HyVee, Eileen’s Colossal Cookies, Farnam House Brewing Company, Pizza West, Junior League of Omaha, Toppers Pizza, Child Saving Institute, Central Plains Center for Services, Omaha Home for Boys, Youth Emergency Services, Avenue Scholars, Douglas County CASA, and Project Everlast/Nebraska Children. In addition to the valuable knowledge, attendees were treated to a pizza dinner as well as lots of other treats and a variety of door prizes.