Area middle schoolers get opportunity to find career paths

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A group of businesses based in the Golden Triangle is getting a headstart on preparing the next generation of the workforce by exposing them to opportunities available to them close to home.

Family Organizations Recruiting Great Employees, or FORGE, is made up of family-owned small businesses that see the value of providing training in the community for available jobs in the community.

Each year the group sponsors the FORGE Your Path Career Expo.

Executive Director Melinda Lowe said that she was excited for the students who attended the event.

“We are thrilled to have 2,500 eighth graders from 28 schools from public to private schools from 11 counties here on the campus of EMCC today to have a hands-on opportunity to learn more about skills-based trade opportunities,” said Lowe. “FORGE is an opportunity for the eighth graders to come through and see what all industries are available in our area and to hopefully spark their interest in a career that they will be interested in and get fulfillment from.”

And as helpful as it was for the students, it was just as helpful for the business leaders.

“We do want to recruit the next generation of great employees and as a family business that has been around for five generations, for us to be able to meet eighth graders is really awesome because it helps to build a pipeline to put our name out there and show that we are an opportunity and a place that you can work one day,” said Melanie Ford, Health Sciences Instructor at McKellar Technology.

“It gives them a workforce that is going to be maturing in a few years. These are eighth graders that will need jobs and so this will give them a workforce,” said Ann Marie Chillcut Miller, Owner of New Home Building Store.

The FORGE Your Career Path event continues through Thursday, October 26.

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