Amherst County High School. File photo. 

Amherst County Public Schools is partnering with local businesses, colleges and military recruiters in hosting a “Roadmap for Your Future Expo” on Nov. 19, a first-year event designed to highlight career opportunities for students.

The two-hour Expo is set to kick off at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Amherst County High School. Craig Maddox, the schools’ supervisor of career and technical education, said more than a dozen businesses from Amherst County and the Lynchburg region will have booths set up and are looking forward to speaking with students and families about job opportunities and career pathways.

For example, if a middle or high school student is interested in working for Banker Steel, a Lynchburg steel manufacturer slated to be represented at the event among other businesses, he or she could receive guidance on what steps to take and possible courses to get them ready.

The goal is to have students and families more engaged with businesses that have employment opportunities open and raise awareness.

“Right now there are a lot of opportunities right here in their backyard to have great careers,” Maddox said. “I think a lot of times we don’t see that.”

The event will feature a free meal of barbecue, baked beans and rolls, and Superintendent Rob Arnold is expected to speak in the auditorium before the crowd disperses into the Expo, Maddox said.

Lynchburg area colleges will also be on hand and career and technical education programs will be highlighted s well. “Everything is going to be under roof,” Maddox said, emphasizing the entire community is invited. “We’re just trying to make it a community event.”

In the Lynchburg region the areas of manufacturing, health care and construction are in need of skilled workers, Maddox said. Businesses are trying to figure out how to grow their workforce, he added.

“We’re trying to help them. This is an opportunity to collaborate,” Maddox said.

The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, which recently has faced an officer shortage, and emergency services groups also are expected to attend, Maddox said. The Old Dominion Job Corps, an education and career technical training program in Monroe administered by the United States Department of Labor, also will be on hand, according to Maddox.

The expo reflects the mission of the division’s recently adopted comprehensive plan, a document to guide educators in various strategic areas over the next five years, and building relationships with the business community and stakeholders.

Amherst school officials also have emphasized the importance of making students immediately prepared to enter into careers after they leave high school.

“I think it will be a really good event … Businesses are really excited about it,” Maddox said of the expo. “Hopefully it will be a good night to start those conversations.”

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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