October 17, 2018

ChamberRVA’s Mission Tomorrow event introduces 12,000+ eighth graders to the region’s career options

Area employers setting up fun, hands-on exhibits to get youth thinking about career paths

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – ChamberRVA’s annual Mission Tomorrow event will bring the region’s 12,000+ public school eighth graders to the Richmond Raceway on Thursday and Friday for interactive career exploration with RVA’s employers. Nearly 150 area businesses will set up fun, hands-on booths that students can visit to learn more about their industries and types of jobs available – think “career con,” but for middle schoolers. In only its third year, this two-day event is already the largest of its kind in the country. This year’s presenting sponsor is Dominion Energy.

Students will walk through multiple zones at the Raceway categorized by industry, such as transportation and logistics, hospitality and tourism, engineering and design, finance and business management, and many more. In each zone, they are able to interact directly with employers who interest them, discussing career options and engaging in a hands-on activity. Exhibiting is free, with exhibitors challenged to develop fun and engaging displays that will pique students’ curiosity and leave them with a lasting impression. Students will be able to interact with line equipment from Dominion Energy, virtual and augmented reality from DPR Construction, roller coaster parts from Kings Dominion and a pace car from Richmond Raceway. Other highlights will include real scaffolding from Scaffolding Solutions, a news van from NBC12 and a mock culinary competition in the style of Chopped from the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association.

“With Mission Tomorrow, we’re starting the career conversation earlier,” said Pat Gottschalk, chair of the ChamberRVA board and partner at Williams Mullen. “Kids only know what they’re exposed to, so it’s imperative that we show them the true breadth of options that RVA has to offer. If we want to ensure a quality talent pipeline for our region, we have to connect with the workforce of tomorrow today.”

Although all area businesses are encouraged to get involved, ChamberRVA made an explicit effort this year to partner with trade associations to increase exhibitor recruitment. Build Your Future Virginia, the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Virginia chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies will all be represented by member businesses at this year’s event. With the help of Build Your Future Virginia, a collaboration between Associated General Contractors of Virginia and the Virginia chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., ChamberRVA was able to more than double the number of construction exhibitors over last year – an industry that research for the Chamber’s FutureRVA initiative has shown to be the third most in-demand in the region.

Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton and Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane will be among a number of state, local and community leaders in attendance at this year’s event. Also new this year is a window in the morning for parents to visit the exhibition space before students arrive to get a better understanding of what their child will experience, helping the career exploration process to continue beyond the classroom.

Mission Tomorrow will take place at Richmond Raceway on Thursday, October 18, and Friday, October 19. Parents are invited to walk through the event from 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday. For a detailed schedule of leaders to plan your arrival as a member of the media, contact Leigh Rossi at For more information on Mission Tomorrow and to see videos and pictures of previous years’ events, visit


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

Press contact: Leigh Rossi,, 804-783-9312.

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  1. […] October 26, 2018 by Jeremy Raley·0 Comments Last week, all 8th graders from Goochland Middle School attended an event to provide them with some early exposure to the many different careers in the Richmond Metro area. Their attendance at this event at the Richmond International Raceway was a part of our division’s ongoing efforts to maximize the potential of every learner. Read more about this event, Mission Tomorrow, here. […]

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