COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Saturday morning from 10-12:30, the Pikes Peak Business and Education Alliance held an informational expo at Rampart High School to help guide students into arts and design career fields.
They partnered with local employers in the Pikes Peak region to provide interested students and their families with more info on careers in arts and design.
Speakers and panelists told their stories of how they go to where they are today. Then it broke down into a networking style format so students and their families could speak one on one with employers.
Some fields include graphic design, video production, content creation, multimedia photography, interior design, and many others.
"What our organization is attempting to do is attract young people to careers that are high demand and fairly high wage, that they might not know about," Pikes Peak Business & Education Alliance Director Bob Gemingnani said. "When they do learn about those careers, then we help them with activities that can sequence them through additional exploration, investigation, and training through an internship as they continue to refine what they think they may want to do when they get out of high school."
These jobs are all in high-demand. The goal of this expo and of the Pikes Peak Business and Education Alliance is to help connect and guide students K-12 and their families to these career paths by connecting them with an industry professional, to job shadowing, and educates them about all the career options in arts and design they may not know exists. So they know what it'll take to get a job in one of these fields following graduation.
"There are so many high demand jobs in our community and throughout the state and country that are going chronically unfilled that students don't know exist," Gemingnani said. "There are high demand fields in arts, design, and multimedia just like there are in a lot of STEM careers. A lot of students don't know that. Events like this prove that you can make a good living in some of those careers as demonstrated by the professionals that are here."
This unique resource gives students a guide or a roadmap on how to get into a career they may be interested in.
"You go from a kid graduating high school and just figuring it out to a kid graduating high school with a plan," Pikes Peak Region Arts, Design, and Multimedia Advisory Board Chair Jay Weets said.
"Having opportunities for students to come in, express themselves, meet with professionals, and learn about career fields," high school student Matthew Anderson said. "I think it's a great way for students to understand different career paths."
Students and professionals alike say connecting with someone who can be a mentor is a very helpful tool in navigating a career path.
For Matthew, video editing and production stemmed from making short films as a kid. Now, he's going on to UCCS next year.
"My advice, find connections," Matthew said. "I have been lucky to work with a couple professional editors who have given me tips and looked over my work."
"We believe one of the most important inspirations for a student is to have some understanding about where they're going after school," Gemingnani said. "It helps them stay engaged in their academics and stay curious. We believe experimental learning is a huge catalyst for hope."
Click here to register for the expo.