The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce welcomed over 170 high school students grades 9-12 from Issaquah, Skyline, Liberty, and Gibson Ek high schools to Bellevue College on December 13th for the annual Great Careers Conference.
One of the Greater Issaquah Chamber Education Committee programs is the Great Careers Conference, now in its 8th year. The committee partners with the Issaquah School District, Issaquah Schools Foundation and Bellevue College to create a program dedicated to elevating career choices in fields that do not necessarily require a four-year degree. By doing so, this gives young adults the information they need to expedite their journey to exciting career opportunities. The program also provides our local businesses an opportunity to nurture those individuals that will become their employees of tomorrow. Students met with over 30 professionals from the Eastside who presented an array of career paths requiring two-year degrees or certifications. These educational paths lead into careers that at a minimum have basic living wages upon hire. Following the break-out sessions on career options, students met with 15 different local colleges and organizations that offer degrees and/or certifications that support these pathways. Nathan Graham, a senior at Gibson Ek, presented his high school thesis on the benefits of career paths in service based careers. Nathan would like to take advantage of certification programs and apprenticeship for his own career choice. The day greatly impacted the high school students. Kaitlin from Gibson Ek High School shared “It was super cool to learn more about careers that I want to pursue, thank you for hosting this event.” Thank you to our sponsors Seattle Children’s Hospital, 425 Oral and Maxillofacial, Evergreen Ford/Lincoln/Chevrolet, Issaquah Rotary, Issaquah Chamber Community Foundation, Microsoft, Conner Homes and Snoqualmie Casino for supporting this event.