County Reaches Out To Area Students At Career Expo



The first-ever Core4 Career Expo was a big success. Jackson County was among the four local governments to participate in introducing nearly 2,400 area middle school and high school students to career opportunities in public service, ranging from fire fighting to water service.

The county sent representatives to the September 29 event at Bartle Hall from these departments:

•Counselor (i.e., legal) 
•Information Technology/Geographic Information Systems 
•Medical Examiner 
•Parks + Rec 
•Public Works 

The City of Kansas City, Missouri, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas and Johnson County, Kansas also participated in the Expo, as did exhibitors from colleges and employment-resource agencies. Students explored career paths expected to be in high demand over the next five to 10 years and learned about youth-oriented employment opportunities such as job shadowing, internships and mentorships.

Jackson County Human Resources Administrator Randy Reyes attended the Expo, saying he "personally overheard several students say how much fun they had learning about the different public sector job opportunities that are available to them when they’re ready to enter the workforce."

Piper (Kansas) High School Principal Jason Malaschak said his students enjoyed the Expo so much "they [actually] didn't want to leave."

He said, "They wanted to stay the whole day because they were learning a ton! Thank you for inviting us to this opportunity!"

Jackson County Chief Administrative Officer Mary Lou Brown noted that, as the Expo was a first-time event, "We didn’t really know what to expect going into it."

However, she added, "Creative ideas and hard work made this a memorable event for the students. In addition to the students learning a lot about government careers, it gave us a great opportunity to work across departmental lines as well as agency lines."

Core4 traces its roots to 2010, when, with facilitation by the Mid-America Regional Council, staff members from the Kansas City metropolitan area’s four largest governmental entities -- Jackson County, Johnson County and Wyandotte County/KCK and Kansas City, Missouri, itself -- began meeting regularly to discuss areas of common concern.

Students learning about working in the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office (above) and the County Counselor's Office (below).