CEANCI hosted the 5th annual middle school career fair but this year we added the high school capstone students, so changed the name from Career on Wheels to the Pathways Project.

We had 35 business vendors in the 7 endorsement areas that the State of Illinois is requiring to align to the new Perkins 5 federal grant funding. Endorsement areas covered were  Agricultural, Arts & Communications, Finance, Health and Public Service, Human and Public Service, Information Technology, and Manufacturing and Technology. This event now serves many purposes; not only is it intended to expose middle school students to various careers but this year by adding the high school capstone students and projects it allowed the peer to peer conversations as well as the anticipation of what lies ahead for the middle schoolers when they begin their journey in high school- many of the capstone high school booths had hands on activities for students to engage in. Secondly, high school students and business partners had the opportunity talk over lunch and exchange resumes and job applications. It was stated that business partners believed there would be at least 12 jobs or internships, and these are only the business partners whom were interviewed.

CEANCI’s purpose was accomplished in having middle schoolers leave excited and in anticipation of high school while the connections between business and future work force were made as well. In coming months we hope to have success stories of internship/ job placements. For next year, we will hope for multiplied opportunities for our students at both ages, as well as our business partners.  Beth would like to thank all business partners, volunteers, students and instructors for their involvement in the Pathways Project.

For more information feel free to visit the CEANCI or NITE equipment Facebook pages, or If you’re a business partner and would like to collaborate with students from the 9 districts CEANCI serves throughout the school year, please contact Beth Mead at b.mead@ceanci.org, or calling Beth at 815-921-8471.