April 8, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — On Friday, April 12, 2019, more than 100 Berkshire County high school students will be participating in the Berkshire Compact for Education’s 10th Grade Career Expo at the Berkshire Museum.

Ahead of this event, these high school students have been working with career readiness counselors, supported by MassHire, to identify potential career paths they are interested in exploring after high school. They are encouraged to research and learn more about the dynamics of their career interests and the educational paths that may be required in each field.  

On April 12, the students will be bussed to the Berkshire Museum, where they will be welcomed to the Expo by College and career professionals. The students will also hear from keynote speaker, the spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones or “Marshall the World-Connector.”

A professional spoken word artist and performer, Jones has been featured at TEDx conferences, performed at the Musical Instrument Museum, the Omega Institute, and at BBC World Service, among other high-profile locations. Jones will be presenting at the career expo in coordination with the nonprofit Narrative Research Group (NRG).

"Marshall’s presence, and this event, is an illustration of community-based cooperation modernized to help students become more engaged in what they can do here in the Berkshires,” said NRG Executive Director Dr. Dennis Rebelo. “Marshall's opening greeting will be just what the students need to begin their journey.”

After the keynote, students will travel to other locations in the Berkshires, where they’ll attend sessions based on the career tracks they are interested in.

The tracks include:

Art and Education: Hosted by the Colonial Theater in partnership with MCLA staff.     
Health Care: Students will attend workshops at Berkshire Medical Center with the BHS staff.
Business and Finance: Greylock Federal Credit Union will be hosting the students for the morning and introducing them to several aspects of their industry.
Engineering/Technology and Advanced Manufacturing: Students will travel to Apex for intensive hands-on workshops.
The Trades: The Allegrone Companies will be welcoming students to a construction site near the museum and then a tour of their headquarters on Lenox Road.
Hospitality and Culinary: The Hotel on North staff will be providing the students a behind-the-scenes experience of the hospitality industry
Social and Human Services: Representatives from Brien Center, BFAIR and BCAC will be working with students to explore the opportunities in the field.
The students will return to the museum after their industry experiences for a comprehensive resource fair and lunch.

The 10th Grade Career Expo is funded in part by a grant from Guardian to help enhance college and career readiness opportunities for our local high school students. The Aspirations Committee of the Berkshire Compact for Education reviewed several models of career engagement opportunities for high school students and through research identified the need to bring this program to the tenth grade population. The Committee also wanted to support the initiatives being implemented through the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 in identifying and addressing the critical sectors of the local economy.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.