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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 GP CareerSpark a series of interactive work and career readiness experiences for 8th-12th 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.

In the fall (September 28-29th, 2023), 8th-grade students will gather at the Peoria Civic Center to interact with local professionals. Students act out careers through hands-on activities to visualize their future and lay the foundation for high school studies, preparing them for a career path.

In the spring, High School students explore local employers through an online interactive expo and gain valuable skills for landing the right job for them.

Both experiences are supplemented with the JA Inspire curriculum and resources showcasing our region’s most critical industry clusters and employers, including manufacturing, healthcare, innovation and technology, business and finance, and more.

Empower and inspire future professionals to own their success with Greater Peoria CareerSpark!

Why Participate in CareerSpark


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.

Spark Inspiration

The ultimate goal of this experience is to empower and inspire 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, 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 future education, careers, and beyond. So, don’t wait; get your students started on their path!


Connect To Your Future

The CareerSpark – You’re Hired! experience for high school students connects employers with future talent. Students gain knowledge of local employers and can even browse and apply for opportunities available in central Illinois. Young people will create a career plan and take the next steps in their journey.

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 Angie Houck by phone or email.

Angie Houck | Program Director
Junior Achievement of Central Illinois
309.682.1800 ext. 103 |

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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, GP CareerSpark Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors

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Silver Sponsors

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