MiCareerQuest Southeast, the region’s largest career exploration event, will host more than 11,000 high school students from 160 of the region’s schools on Nov. 8 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
In its second year, MiCareerQuest Southeast welcomes students from Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, introducing them to 1,000 professionals from 110 businesses, labor organizations and educational institutions. The event covers nearly 400,000 square feet of floor space — a jump of 60,000 square feet over 2018 — and increased registrations by more than 3,000 students.
“We want an economy where everyone participates,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “Career exploration events such as MiCareerQuest Southeast give students of all skill levels the opportunity not only to connect what they are learning in the classroom with career options, but also to see why Oakland County is ranked among the best counties to live for young professionals.”
Students will attend four career paths featuring 25-30 different occupations in each area: advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. Students are assigned to two hour sessions: 8:15-10:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. and 12:15-2:15 p.m. They will spend 30 minutes in each career area and participate in hands-on, interactive activities that showcase the skills needed to secure and succeed in a broad range of jobs. Many federal, state and local government officials as well as educational and business leaders are scheduled to visit the event.
The typical high school will send from 50-125 students. Romeo High School is planning to send its entire freshmen class of 500 students as it did in 2018. The school’s Ninth Grade Academy gives students the opportunity to explore career interests throughout their freshman year.
Oxford Community Schools is sending 410 students from its high school – one of four districts who have registered at least 400 students.
“MiCareerQuest Southeast is an innovative career experience that all high school students should have the opportunity to experience,” said Lisa Butts, K-12 career-focused education coordinator for Oxford Community Schools. “Our students will get to explore hands-on activities in high-demand career areas including advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. This opportunity will surely assist our students in choosing secondary and post-secondary career paths. We are so excited.”
MiCareerQuest has six other events around the state: Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Onaway and Petoskey. West Michigan Works! in Grand Rapids held the first MiCareerQuest five years ago.
MiCareerQuest Southeast is organized by Michigan Works! and the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is the presenting sponsor of the event.
Platinum sponsors include Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, MUST and the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. Gold sponsors are Oakland Community College, Henry Ford Health System, GoEngineer, Oakland County Michigan Works!, Michigan Works! Macomb/St. Clair, Michigan Works! Southeast, SEMCA and Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation. Silver sponsors include Ascension St. John Hospital, Alliance Mobile Health, Dorsey Schools, Genisys Credit Union, SMART and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.
“MiCareerQuest events like this offer some serious bang for our buck,” said Amber Fogarty, energy talent pipeline specialist for Consumers Energy. “No other event exposes this many students to the wide array of careers we have to offer in the energy industry.”