The Northland Education and Business Alliance continued to finalize plans for its Nov. 18 Virtual Career Expo during the group’s Oct. 6 meeting.
The Expo will be held using Zoom videoconferencing and feature 24 online presentations of 14 career areas. Each presentation will feature industry professionals and will run approximately 40 minutes, with sessions each hour from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
During the recent meeting, NEBA members discussed adding presenters. Brett Kisker, executive director of Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies, said that while additional presenters are needed, the program is coming together well overall.
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The industries in the expo will include healthcare, agriculture, journalism, digital media, education, government and public administration, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, construction, transportation and logistics, engineering and business management and information technology. A website with details on the programs and registration is under development and expected to go live Oct. 19.
NEBA Chair Brian Noller, Northland Career Center Director, said the event is designed to help students, parents, guardians and educators learn about exciting and high-paying jobs available in Clay and Platte counties. NEBA has sponsored fall career events for several years and is organizing the Nov. 18 program to continue that success, despite COVID-19.
“There are high-paying careers in Clay and Platte County that need a skilled workforce,” Noller explained. “People need to know about these opportunities so they can make informed choices.”
Platte County Schools
The meeting began with Superintendent of Platte County R-III Schools, Dr. Mike Reik, presenting information about the district. Like most Northland schools, Platte County’s biggest challenge for 2020-2021 is COVID-19.
“The school year has gone about as well as you would expect,” Dr. Reik said, noting that even sports have seen success. “If you’d have told me we’d have six games under our belt at this point, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
He shared that the biggest challenge involves testing and contract tracing when coronavirus is indicated. “Identifying who has been exposed and isolating them is critical,” he said. “It’s a 24/7 job because time is of the essence.” To date, 22 students and 23 staff members have tested positive.
Dr. Reik added that despite the pandemic, Platte County is growing and schools must keep pace. “The number of projects is dramatic,” he said. “There’s really some phenomenal projects with the growth in Platte County. It really hasn’t slowed down with COVID.”
As a result, the Platte County District, which encompasses much of the county’s northern half, is one of the fastest growing in the state. To meet the growth, he said that the district is planning a bond election next April for additional school buildings. The issue, which will not require a tax increase, will be on the April 4, 2021 ballot.
Members also discussed ways to rebrand NEBA and noted workforce issues remain critical for the Northland and that broadening involvement is important. A branding/logo contest is being planned to provide an opportunity for members of the community, including students, to participate in the effort. More information will be available after the next NEBA meeting in early November.