More than 7,000 high school freshman are already thinking about the future and their interest in various career fields. Students from 20 different Metro Nashville Public Schools recently participated in the “My Future, My Way” Career Exploration Fair at the Music City Center.

Making informed choices about a career is one of the reasons Nashville Electric Service (NES) has supported this event for the past seven years.

As opposed to a job fair where students visit companies, the career fair allows companies to work together to represent career areas. Students are then given the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from more than 200 potential future employers, including NES. The goal is to help freshman see the connection between success in high school and their ability to qualify for good paying jobs after post-secondary education.

Students were able to talk with NES employees and ask real questions about pursuing a career as a lineman, engineer, electrician or safety manager. In addition, NES provided demonstrations on power line safety, digital and analog circuit boards and breaker controls for outage restoration.

Many of these students are preparing to select an area of interest through one of the Academies of Nashville, highly personalized learning communities that enable students to focus on an academic theme. Students are exposed to opportunities, industry skills and potential employers by way of classroom speakers, site visits, job shadowing and internships.

The Academies align with the business community and post-secondary institutions to create a pipeline of talent into high-demand career areas. The Academies fall within five broad industry themes, including arts, media and communications; business, marketing and information technology; engineering, manufacturing and industrial technology; health and public services; and hospitality and tourism.

NES is a proud supporter of Maplewood High School’s Academy of Energy & Power. The utility helps develop curriculum and class projects throughout the year for students interested in engineering.