Worlds of Work

As a school district leader, I see preparing students to be successful in the real world as one of the primary goals of public education. That is evident in our district’s mission statement “…to promote educational excellence by engaging all students in meaningful and innovative learning experiences that empower them to fulfill their life’s purpose.”

Student wears firefighting gear at the Worlds of Work event.In late October, we saw this mission clearly put into action at the inaugural Worlds of Work Career Expo held at Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake campus. The event was a fun, educational, interactive, hands-on opportunity for all 8th-grade students to become familiar with a broad overview of high-demand, high-wage career opportunities available in the region. 

Dr. Cotton participates in the Worlds of Work event. I had the pleasure of attending the event and seeing our students learn about the roofing industry, land surveying, emergency management services, banking, architectural design, and so much more. I have to admit even I couldn’t resist the opportunity to hammer a few nails and try on the virtual reality headsets.

Thanks to generous support from the City of Chesapeake, Dollar Bank, and numerous other regional employers, all of our 8th-grade students were invited to attend. As our eighth graders head into high school, we knew this event would provide the perfect opportunity to begin making important decisions about their future. Whether that’s college, the military, a trade school, or straight into the world of work, it’s vital for us to prepare our students to be successful on all of these pathways. 

Regional employers give students a glimpse of potential future jobs. Worlds of Work student guide book cover.Each student left the event with a sense of new possibilities and with a Worlds of Work Student Guide that provided information about each career opportunity including details on work environment, median salaries, and skills needed to be successful in the industry.

I’d like to again thank all of the sponsors of the event and our Department of College and Career Readiness for organizing the three days of fun and exploration. We look forward to hosting the event annually.