One of the biggest successes ever for the Northland Education and Business Alliance was celebrated by NEBA members during their Dec. 1 meeting.
Over 30 members met in person and via Zoom videoconferencing to review the Nov. 18 Virtual Career Expo. Co-Chair Brian Noller said an estimated 2,500 students attended. Most were from Clay and Platte counties, although other communities like Olathe and Basehor, Ks., were represented.
“This was one of the biggest days in NEBA history,” Noller said. “I think this was bigger and better than a lot of us thought it would ever be.”
Others agreed. “Our goal was to get 500 students,” noted Adam Jelenic, NEBA co-chair and HR Programs Coordinator for LMV Automotive Systems. “To get over 2,500 students was unbelievable.”
Much of the credit went to NEBA’s expo committee led by co-chairs Amy Washam, director of Northwest Missouri State University-Kansas City, and Brett Kisker, executive director of Northland CAPS. Since the event, the group has created a NEBA YouTube channel where recordings of all of the presentations are available.
“Now, if a student or teacher wants to go back, they can just go here and view any of the presentations,” Kisker added.
Although NEBA has held in-person expos and other events hosting up to a thousand students, the success of the virtual event has led to plans for more, including a “CEO Roundtable” tentatively planned for February and a possible health care career expo next spring.
Members also discussed a logo design contest for area students which would help NEBA’s ongoing effort at rebranding. EDC Executive Director David Slater noted an underlying goal is reaching more of the 19,000 high school and 30,000-plus middle school students in the Northland, as well as parents and business owners. These and other topics will be continued at the group’s next meeting in early January.