CareerForce is partnering with numerous businesses and community organizations to host Exploring Potential Interests & Careers (EPIC) on Friday, February 28th at St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC). This is the second annual EPIC event to welcome area 10th grade students to a day of hands-on career exploration. More than 3,300 students from 27 schools will engage with over 100 Central Minnesota businesses in a day full of intense, interactive, learning experiences that allow the student to “try-on” a career.
The format will be like last year’s EPIC event, where students prepared beforehand by completing a 60-question Career Analysis. When they arrive at SCTCC, students go to the employer activities that interest them most. Activities at EPIC are structured around the Minnesota Department of Education’s Career Field, Clusters & Pathways diagram, which breaks careers into six fields and 16 clusters. Since students are already familiar with this model, students are comfortable with the format of the event and are able to easily find activities that interest them.
Area businesses are offering 15-20 minute, hands-on student activities that showcase hundreds of high-demand careers in the region. Students explore the opportunities through experiments, demonstrations, simulation and hands-on job re-enactment. At last year’s EPIC event, some of the activities included developing a marketing campaign, solving a burglary crime, identifying their blood type, building their own tool box, interacting with livestock, and welding their own Minnesota-shaped plaque.
Students find the EPIC event very valuable because they’re able to learn more about career fields and occupations that interest them directly from an employer in that line of work. Plus students are able to see that there are multiple educational paths to career success, including on the job training, career and technical education, four-year college or advanced degrees.
Businesses give high marks for EPIC, because they have the unique opportunity to interact directly with students, as well as engage with school faculty and staff, which builds stronger community relationships.
Central Minnesota Leading CareerForce partners Career Solutions and Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services (CMJTS) are strong players in the community collaborative organizing this year’s event, reaching out to local businesses and engaging area schools. Planning for EPIC 2021 is already underway. If you’d like to get involved in next year’s event, contact Amie Anderson at 320.308.5580 or email@example.com.