CPS Juniors Explore Post-Secondary Career Pathways at 3rd Annual Career Expo


Juniors from Oyler, Dater, Aiken and Clark Montessori high schools stepped off school buses on a beautiful fall morning at the Sharonville Convention Center to explore post-graduation options.

It was the annual Career Expo, held specifically for students in grade 11, hosted by Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) in collaboration with the Business-Education Connectivity Council (BECC). Students spent the half-day exploring career pathways and having conversations about how they could make those pathways a reality after graduating high school.

Dr. Ray Bignall from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital kicked-off the expo with a keynote speech before students got the chance to explore local businesses and universities, or attend a breakout session. 

Students had their choice of informative breakout sessions covering such topics as trade programs and apprenticeships, interviewing best practices, and labor rights and laws.

“The goal of the Career Expo is for our 11th-grade students to get exposure to the variety of careers that exist in our Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky community,” said Brittney Cousins, career-based learning manager for CPS. “The BECC helped us recruit more than 55 businesses for our students to learn about. Our students are coming in to explore a variety of booths and attend breakout sessions for deeper learning. The goal is that students will have a better sense of what they need to do in order to get to the career they want.”

The businesses, universities and partners in attendance included: 

  • Amazon
  • Barnes Dennig
  • Belflex Staffing Network
  • Castellini Company LLC
  • Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Cincinnati Fire Department
  • Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Cincinnati Police Department
  • Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Cincinnati State
  • Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Cincinnati USA Regional Center
  • Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
  • Cintas Corporation
  • Deer Park-Silverton Joint Fire District
  • DHL Express
  • Evolution Creative Solutions
  • FedEx
  • GE Aviation
  • Great Oaks Career Campuses
  • Great Oaks Health Professions Academy
  • Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Hobsons
  • IBEW NECA Electrical Training Center
  • Incredible Creations Beauty & Barber Salon
  • JTM Food Group
  • Kings Island
  • LPK
  • Mercy Health
  • Messer Construction Co.
  • Miami University
  • National Railroad Freedom Center
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Ohio Operating Engineers Apprenticeship
  • Ohio State University Extension-Hamilton County
  • Ohio Tech Prep Southwest Regional Center
  • Ovations Food Services
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Paul Mitchell The School Cincinnati
  • PNC Bank
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • SORTA/Metro
  • Supply Chain OKI
  • The E. W. Scripps Company
  • Total Quality Logistics
  • TriVersity Construction
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Navy
  • University of Cincinnati
  • WCPO 9 On Your Side
  • Xavier University

Students learned about local employment opportunities and careers, met and interacted with professionals in the Greater Cincinnati area, and practiced networking skills. At the end of the day, students took home useful tools to continue practicing those skills.

“This was mind-blowing,” said Ronald Belser, a student at Aiken High School. “I learned about law enforcement, which is probably what I want to major in.”

Woodward, Gamble Montessori, Hughes, Riverview East and Taft High Schools attended the afternoon session.

The Career Expo is one event of many that promotes CPS’ career-based learning to prepare students for a world of opportunities. The goal is not to just graduate students, but to prepare them for the future whether it be enrolling in college, starting a career, or enlisting in the military after graduation.

To learn more about career-based learning, visit cps-k12.org/academics/career-based-learning.


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