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Explore.  Experience.  Inspire.

Exposing Greater Peoria students to their future careers.

Join the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Junior Achievement of Central Illinois for the 6th annual GP CareerSpark — an interactive work and career readiness experience for 8th-grade students in our region. Spark your students’ interest in the exciting careers available in Greater Peoria through the JA Inspire curriculum and hands-on learning activities.

Students can look forward to interacting with our region’s most critical industry clusters and employers, including manufacturing, healthcare, innovation and technology, business and finance, and more.
Empower and inspire your students to own their future success with Greater Peoria CareerSpark.

Join us on October 5th or 6th at the Peoria Civic Center by signing up for your 8th-grade class now for the complete CareerSpark-JA Inspire learning experience! This includes access to the virtual expo in addition to attending the in-person expo at the Peoria Civic Center.

If you would not like to attend the in-person part of CareerSpark but want to have your 8th-grade students take advantage of the virtual CareerSpark career expo only, please email

Thanks to everyone that registered for our first ever virtual adaptation of CareerSpark in January 2021! With over 3200 students from 55 schools, CareerSpark 2020 was made possible despite the circumstances.

Below is a map showing what schools utilized the digital platform.

Why Attend the Expo?


Explore Careers

We want to spark students’ curiosity at an early age about career opportunities they may want to pursue in order to set them on the right track for future success. With this experience, students can begin to have a better understanding of the high school and post-secondary courses they need to take to get into the career field of their choice. Through the JA Inspire curriculum, students are prepared to make the most of the CareerSpark expo by closely examining specific skills and career clusters, learning key factors to investigate career planning, and exploring job outlook to identify high growth, high demand careers.

Sparking Inspiration

The ultimate goal of this event is to empower and inspire 8th-grade students to pursue critically needed careers and own their future success. Research has shown students eliminate certain careers from their future during middle school, and self-efficacy can now be considered one of the major variables influencing the nature and effectiveness of career choice behaviors.
After CareerSpark, your students will be able to use the JA Inspire curriculum and tools to identify next steps to define their academic choices and career paths further. Beginning to make decisions about their future career opportunities now will help place them on the right track as they look toward high school. So, don’t wait; get your 8th-grade students registered below!


To learn more about GP CareerSpark and or find out how your school or company can plug in, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kari Rauh by phone or email.

Kari Rauh
Director of Workforce Solutions
(309) 495-5973


Who Will Be There?

Industries Represented at the Expo

  • Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics
  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction
  • Arts, Technology, and Communication
  • Business and Finance
  • Education & Training
  • Government, Law and Public Safety
  • Health and Life Sciences

CareerSpark is brought to you in Partnership with:

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Thank you, 2022 GP CareerSpark Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors

Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Emerald Sponsors

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