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Chamber holds eighth annual career fair for eighth-graders

ofallonchambercareerfairIt’s never too early to get started on a career, and eighth-graders swarmed the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon on May 2 to get a peek at their futures.

The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Scott Air Force Base STEAM Advisory Group, and the Regency Conference Center hosted its 8th Annual 8th Grade Career Exploration Fair. Some 600-plus eighth-graders from across O’Fallon and Shiloh public and private schools attended.

Carrie Hruby, District 90 Superintendent explains the career fair as “an excellent opportunity for students to explore careers and interview business leaders and then use this new knowledge to outline their education and training path to reach those goals.”

Dale Sauer, Shiloh School District Superintendent, further explains, “This collaboration of many, is a remarkable opportunity for our students entering into their first year of high school. The chance to interact with over 70 professionals in various occupations is not available through any other venue.:

Jackye Biehl, First Baptist Academy, calls it “an amazing opportunity for students to explore many different career fields.”

The 70+ role models give up a full day of work to come out to the fair and speak with the students about their professions. Chamber Education Chairperson Dave Hopkins believes local businesses realize these students will be part of the workforce in a few short years and want to give the students every opportunity to find out about as many opportunities as they can before they have to make lifelong decisions.

“This career fair wouldn’t happen without the partnership between the business community and the local schools,” Chamber Director Debbie Arell-Martinez said. Together we really can make a difference.”

Chamber President Sid LeGrand added: “This is such an important event for our community and I am extremely proud that it is a Chamber event.”

Pictures from the event are available at

Sponsors in addition to those mentioned included First Baptist Academy, Adventures in Cuisine and Bella Milano.

About the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce

The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business membership organization made up of 602+ members representing the local communities as well as the Metro East. The Chamber has represented the interests of the local business community since 1946.

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