Hundreds of schoolkids got a chance Thursday to learn about future job opportunities during a special careers fair at Hueytown Middle School.
The Energy Awareness Fair was organized by the Birmingham Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. Phillip Coffey, the chairman of the chapter’s Education and Scholarship Committee, said the event was designed to introduce students to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), particularly jobs in the energy sector.
“We wanted to take their natural environment where they spend most of their time everyday and transform that place into a world of innovation and technology — at least for a few hours,” Coffey said.
The fair featured outdoor demonstrations of drone technology, bucket trucks and electric cars from Alabama Power, plus indoor activities such as virtual tours of substations, circuit building and a robot.
“We’re hoping a seed is planted,” Coffey said. “We’re hoping to broaden and expand their minds at a young age so that as they’re going to high school and college, they have a better understanding of what they want to do in life.”
Coffey said educating children early about innovative career opportunities will help Alabama businesses meet their needs.
“We’re pushing in on workforce development and economic development,” Coffey said. “If we can plant the seed and provide a better education, that makes them prepared for the jobs of the future.”
The AABE Birmingham Chapter teamed with Alabama Power to coordinate the event. Other sponsors included the Alabama Power Service Organization, Southern Power, the Southern Company Energy Innovation Center, UAB, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), McWane Science Center, iCan and Bud’s Best Cookies.