Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is JA JobSpark?
A: JA JobSpark is a hands-on career expo for all Marion County 8th graders, held on September 29th and 30th at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Q: Who can participate?
A: All Marion County public schools are invited to participate in JA JobSpark.
Q: Who is planning and leading this event?
A: A coalition of central Indiana educators, organizations and representatives of over 100 companies working in partnership on the Career Success Initiative, led by Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. These companies have currently committed approximately 3,000 volunteers to engage with students throughout the day.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: There is no fee for schools to participate. All materials including hands-on curriculum, JA JobSpark string bags for students and lanyards for teachers, healthy snacks, industry-provided materials and a keepsake program guide will be provided.
Q: Which businesses will be represented at JA JobSpark?
A: Over 100 businesses have committed resources, volunteers and industry experts. The City of Indianapolis has a vested interest in impacting academic and career success for students in Marion County. See Exhibit A for list of JA JobSpark companies.
Q: What industries will be represented?
A: Industries with high-demand jobs and careers are represented, and divided into eight industry clusters: Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics; Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Architecture, Engineering and Construction; Business and Finance; Government, Law and Public Safety; Health and Life Sciences; Hospitality and Tourism; Technology
Q: Is JA JobSpark a job fair?
A: No. Students will have quality interactions with skilled and professional workers who work directly in these jobs and will have a number of hands-on opportunities to utilize equipment and participate in interactions that actually occur within the industries.
Q: What if my school needs transportation to the event?
A: Most schools will use their own transportation to get to and from JA JobSpark. If a participating school requires assistance with transportation, please let us know and we will work with you to provide assistance. We do not want transportation issues to impact your participation.
Q: What is the schedule for the day?
A: JA JobSpark will run for two days. Schools will attend on one day only during a designated time slot for your school. Schools may break up their days to bring different classes on each day. Students will interact with a host of skilled and professional workers for 30 minutes per zone within 4 zones, for a total of a 3 hour hands-on experience. These adults will receive prior training, and be prepared to engage students in planning for their futures.
Q: I am bringing a large group. Will there be volunteers assigned to my group during the event?
A: YES!!! There will be over 1,500 trained volunteers from Eli Lilly, IU Health, Ice Miller and additional JA JobSpark businesses. Volunteers will meet you at your bus, guide students through the zones, engage students in activities and career-related discussions and assist with exiting them back to the bus.
Q: With a variety of college and career readiness activities out there, how is JA JobSpark different?
A: JA JobSpark is modeled after similar hands-on career expos that have been successfully implemented in several other U.S. cities, including Mobile, AL, Nashville, TN and Portland, OR. Over a period of a few years, best practices have been determined, metrics have been captured and a proven track record of success has been established. JA JobSpark is the first of its kind in Indianapolis. Participation is expected to reduce drop-out rates, increase graduation rates, and increase students’ ability to plan for a successful future.
Q: What can my students expect to get out of attending JA JobSpark?
A: JA JobSpark is meant to “spark” an interest in students. Through participation on JA JobSpark, students will learn about themselves – their skills, interests and values for workplace readiness and will learn about industries and occupations in demand. Students will have a better understanding of the courses to take in high school, a track for post-secondary and a clear career pathway identified.
Q: How will students prepare to attend JA JobSpark?
A: JA makes it easy! Teachers will receive online training and all materials needed. Students will participate in two 45 minute sessions delivered by their classroom teacher. As a part of the curriculum, students will take a career interest assessment and utilize their results to guide the industry clusters they will visit while at the event. After students attend JA JobSpark, teachers will deliver one 45 minute session to recap and follow up from the event.
Q: How long will students spend in each JA JobSpark zone?
A: Students will spend 30 minutes in each of the 4 zones. During this time they will actively participate or observe hands-on activities to demonstrate real jobs within the industry.
Q: How does JA JobSpark live on past the event?
A: There will be opportunities for students to continue to engage with JA JobSpark businesses including future job shadow and/or internship opportunities. Share career related resources and information with the parents of your students. Contact Junior Achievement about its K-12 in-school programs, summer camp, JA BizTown and more.