West Virginia’s growing apprenticeship initiative puts an unconventional spin on job fairs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Students ready for careers will set up booths and welcome prospective employers in a series of Reverse Job Fairs to be held across the state. The West Virginia Development Office’s Apprenticeship In Motion program will stage the Reverse Job Fairs at Career Technical Education Centers in April and May.

“Reverse Job Fairs are a spin on the traditional job fair where Career Technical Education Simulated Workplace students will setup industry specific program booths to showcase their technical skills, portfolios, and talents to employers who are looking to hire skilled workers,” said Sharon Adams, Workforce Development Manager for the West Virginia Development Office.

Apprenticeships combine classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training to teach high-skill or in-demand occupations. You can watch an overview of the AIM program here.

The Apprenticeship In Motion (AIM) program promotes registered apprenticeship in West Virginia, with particular emphasis on nontraditional industries such as health care, manufacturing, high-tech, information technology, cyber security, logistics, tourism and hospitality.

“Since launching the AIM initiative, our team has engaged with more than 400 small business owners, company representatives and other critical workforce development partners in the Mountain State,” said Adams. “AIM helps expand the apprenticeship model in West Virginia and close the gap for our diversifying workforce.”

To continue to build out programs, AIM and the West Virginia Department of Education are partnering to host the series of Reverse Job Fairs.

Reverse Job Fairs are scheduled for April and May:
• Tuesday, April 23, Oak Hill
• Thursday, April 25, New Cumberland
• Friday, April 26, St. Marys
• Tuesday, April 30, Huntington
• Wednesday, May 1, Charleston
• Friday, May 3, Morgantown
• Tuesday, May 7, Elkins
• Wednesday, May 8, Martinsburg

Potential employers who should attend the Reverse Job Fairs include small business owners, senior business leaders, company representatives and human resources executives.

“Our team was thrilled to be a part of the launch of the AIM program in the Mountain State,” said Michael Prebil, program manager for New America, a think tank that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. “Nationally, we’ve seen tremendous interest in expanding the apprenticeship model to meet the needs of our diversifying workforce. We’re so excited that West Virginians have seized this opportunity through their AIM program to serve as apprenticeship leaders on the national stage.”

To learn more about the upcoming Reverse Job Fairs or to register, visit WestVirignia.gov/apprenticeship.

The Apprenticeship In Motion (AIM) program is funded through a grant obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor.

REGISTRATION PAGE: https://westvirginia.gov/apprenticeship

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