FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2019

Careers come to life at ChamberRVA’s Mission Tomorrow

13,000 eighth graders to explore careers at annual event

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – Nearly 13,000 eighth graders will explore careers this week at ChamberRVA’s fourth annual Mission Tomorrow event. One hundred and fifty businesses and organizations from across the region will set up fun, interactive exhibits at the Richmond Raceway Complex, where students can ask questions, meet professionals and try out hands-on activities in sixteen different industries. This year’s event, which runs from October 23 to October 24, is made possible by presenting sponsor Dominion Energy.

Over the course of two days, over 6,000 students a day will walk through the exhibition hall at the Richmond Raceway Complex, where they can interact directly with 150 area employers. The exhibitors will be grouped into different zones by industry, such as health science, STEM, hospitality, construction, law, agriculture and finance. Students will have the chance to interact with a variety of career experiences, including line equipment with Dominion Energy, virtual reality with Atlantic Constructors, a mobile TV control room with Virginia Public Media, an outbreak investigation simulation with the state Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, CPR practice with Patient First and a hacking simulation with Synergy Technical – among many more.

“Of course students can’t know in eighth grade exactly what they want to do – and that’s exactly why Mission Tomorrow is so important,” said Pat Gottschalk, chair of the ChamberRVA board and partner at Williams Mullen. “This is the crucial age for students to explore their own interests and skills, and to learn about all the options right here in the Richmond region. We know that young people can conceive of what they’re exposed to, so it’s our responsibility to show them as diverse a range of career paths as possible.”

This year, ChamberRVA partnered with Junior Achievement of Central Virginia to develop an in-class curriculum, called JA Inspire, for schools to use before and after the event. In addition, the chamber expanded outreach efforts to inform the region’s parents about the event and encourage them to discuss it with their children. Combined, these new initiatives aim to wrap around the event – better preparing students to take advantage of the opportunity and keeping the career conversation going at home and at school.

Also new this year, ChamberRVA significantly increased the number of exhibitors in both the healthcare and education industries – two areas the chamber’s FutureRVA research has shown to be the most in demand in the region. Last year, with the help of Build Your Future Virginia, the chamber doubled the number of construction exhibitors over the previous year – another top-three demand industry.

“When we talk about workforce development, we know the talent pipeline doesn’t start when graduates are out in the world looking for a job. It starts long before that, with the skills and experiences young people gain throughout school,” said Brian Anderson, president and CEO of ChamberRVA. “When we introduce students to the true breadth of career options that RVA has to offer, we not only do a service to them by helping them explore their fullest potential, but we also do a service to our region’s future by fostering a diverse, informed talent pool right here in Greater Richmond.”

For more information on Mission Tomorrow and to see videos and pictures of previous years’ events, visit missiontomorrowrva.com.

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About ChamberRVA: ChamberRVA is the chamber of commerce representing the entire greater Richmond region – one city, seven counties and one town – since 1867. The chamber’s mission is to build a thriving regional community by supporting the success of members, providing a strong business voice and developing RVA’s future leaders. Learn more about ChamberRVA at chamberrva.com.

Press contact: Leigh Rossi, leigh.rossi@chamberrva.com, 804-783-9312.

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