Expo 2018-05-21T15:13:10+00:00

 Careers Expo for Youth

This is not your average career fair. In fact, it’s not a career fair at all.

As an extension of the United Way of Southwest Virginia Ignite Program, the Careers Expo for Youth takes place in September (September 25-26, 2018) at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Over 4,000 7th grade students from Southwest Virginia (17 school systems, 46 schools) participate throughout the course of two days. Students move through four zones filled with over 75 hands-on activities by regional employers in 16 different career paths. At this annual event, seventh grade students see first-hand what it’s like to participate in a chemistry experiment, climb a utility pole, practice CPR, or use a 3D printer – directly from industry professionals located in Southwest Virginia.

 Career Clusters

All Careers Expo for Youth activities fall within one of sixteen career clusters – groupings of occupations and industries based on the things they have in common. Our sixteen career clusters are nationally-recognized, and they are the same ones used by the Virginia Department of Education.

  • Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology, & Communications
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Education & Training
  • Finance
  • Government & Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections, & Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)
  • Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics


  • Bland County High School
  • Carroll County Middle School
  • Castlewood Elementary School
  • Chilhowie Middle School
  • Coeburn Middle School
  • Council Elementary/Middle School
  • Damascus Middle School
  • Dungannon Intermediate
  • Eastern Elementary/Middle School
  • EB Stanley Middle School
  • Elydale
  • Fries School
  • Ft. Chiswell Middle School
  • Galax Middle School
  • Gate City Middle School
  • Glade Spring Middle School
  • Graham Middle School
  • Grayson Highland
  • Honaker Elementary School
  • Hurley Elementary/Middle School
  • Independence Middle School
  • Jonesville Middle School
  • JW Adams Combined
  • Lebanon Middle School
  • LF Addington Middle School
  • Macy McClaugherty
  • Marion Middle School
  • Narrows Elementary/Middle School
  • Nickelsville Elementary
  • Northwood Middle School
  • Norton Elementary/Middle School
  • Pennington Middle School
  • Richlands Middle School
  • Ridgeview Middle School
  • Riverview Elementary/Middle School
  • Rural Retreat Middle School
  • Rye Cove Intermediate
  • Scott Memorial Middle School
  • St Paul School
  • St. Paul Elementary
  • Swords Creek Elementary School
  • Tazewell Middle School
  • Twin Valley Elementary/Middle School
  • Union Middle School
  • Virginia Middle School
  • Wallace Middle School

“The activities give you a taste of what jobs are like.”


“It shows you careers you’ve never heard of.”


“I liked the fact that you got to chose where you went at the Expo and what activities you want to do.”



An event as big as the Expo needs a lot of volunteers! Your time and talent will help make this year’s event a success. If you are interested in volunteering at the 2018 Expo, visit this page again soon to view opportunities and sign up by September 12, 2018. If you have questions about volunteering, email Debby Loggans, Volunteer Center Manager, at dloggans@unitedwayswva.org.



Our participating employers have a unique opportunity to engage students through conversation and demonstration. Students participate in five-minute hands-on activities at employers’ stations. Employers can show them firsthand what it’s like to be a chemical engineer, accountant, IT specialist, social worker, and more. For example, students could be able to climb a utility pole, try on SWAT gear, practice CPR and giving shots, participate in a chemistry experiment, or use a 3-D printer to create a 3-D object. If you have questions about participating in the Expo as an employer, please call Mary Anne Holbrook at 276.525.4075 or email mholbrook@unitedwayswva.org.


Our Sponsors are committed to preparing our youth for viable careers and a lifetime of learning. Our Chamber Ambassadors help get the business community involved in showcasing what employment opportunities are available to our youth. If you have questions about supporting the Expo, please call Mary Anne Holbrook at 276.525.4075 or email mholbrook@unitedwayswva.org.