The Northern Valley Career Expo Wednesday, October 31 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks hosted more than 1,700 sophomores from 41 high schools, including Crookston High School, to explore high-wage, in-demand career opportunities in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota.

    In its 7th year, it was the largest Expo yet breaking attendance and industry participation records. This year, the annual event saw its 10,000th student walk through the Expo floor.

    More than 150 hands-on exhibits introduced students to careers in human services, communications, business, health sciences, manufacturing, skilled trades, engineering, agriculture, and technology. Post-secondary institutions offering related degrees or certifications were available to provide linkages between career paths and educational requirements.

    Among the Expo exhibits, a DroneZone allowed students to explore career opportunities in the fast-growing unmanned systems industry and included opportunities for students to operate drones. A Construction Zone also featured hands-on activities including pipe fitting and sheetrocking.

    Students heard from area professionals offering expertise and guidance during one of 22 breakout presentations, covering an array of employment sectors including engineering, cybersecurity, and manufacturing.

    The annual event is organized by a regional committee representing education, economic development, and workforce organizations in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota.