Transitioning to adulthood and the workforce can be a very difficult time for teens. To make matters worse, high school alone rarely provides the necessary skills to enter the workplace. Traditional career fairs for youth are oftened geared toward matching local employers with student job seekers. With *less than half the working-age adults in zipcode 53206 (between the ages of 25 and 54) having full-time jobs in 2017 (compared to 69 percent city-wide), that's certainly a necessary and admirable action. But here at Neu-Life, the emphasis instead is on exposing youth to as many career paths as possible - and to encourage them to think big when it comes to their future.
To do this, each year we invite a group of professionals to present on their job, what they love about it, how they chose it, and give a general understanding of the pathway of how to get there. These presentations are a powerful way to inspire and motivate children and teens to stay on the path to either college or post-highschool job training. Curating a panel of career fair presenters is no easy task, as they must be both knowledgeable in their field and capable of connecting with the kids in a mentor-like, entertaining way. Neu-Life has a reputation for creating a family-like environment where youth can really blossom and grow, and the Annual Career Fair is no exception.
Neu-Life also strives to represent sectors that are projected for growth in the coming years, like IT, the trades, or health care, for example. “Jobs in health care are a promising option for our kids who want to try something out prior to going to college,” says Tracy Hrajnoha, Neu-life’s Director of Strategy and Innovation. “A four-year degree is no longer the only pathway to a rewarding and lucrative career.”
Each youth receives a backpack full of school supplies donated by partners like Zonta Club of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Backpack Brigade, as well as generous individuals who want to make sure that none of the Neu-Life youth are starting school without the items they need. To make it easier to support the Career Fair from any location, Neu-Life uses a Target Registry where donors can choose to ship the item or pick it up in-store themselves. You don't have to wait until next fall if you want to support our Career Fair! We take backpack donations year round and all monetary donations through our website allow you to choose what YOU want to support.
*Levine, Marc V., "Milwaukee 53206: The Anatomy of Concentrated Disadvantage in an Inner City Neighborhood, 2000-2017" (2019). Center for Economic Development Publications. 48.