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Hands On. Minds Opened.

JA Inspire


JA INSPIRE is a coalition of educators and industry leaders led by Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts that consists of four in-class lessons and one powerful event designed to:

  • Engage 7th through 11th graders to explore education and career pathways
  • Showcase careers in our region with a focus on high-wage/high-demand industries
  • Connect students with industry representatives who can share career advice and offer interactive exhibits during a career fair


Most students do not have access to learn and explore first-hand Western Massachusetts industries. JA Inspire offers students the opportunity to learn about careers from industry representatives in time to begin planning for their high school course work and better prepare themselves for life after high school graduation.

For businesses, higher education, and apprenticeship programs, this is an opportunity to participate in building Western Massachusetts’ future workforce.

JA INSPIRE Curriculum

JA INSPIRE consists of four in-class lessons—three prior to the Career Exploration Fair and one reflection activity afterward.

Session 1: Careers and Personality
Students are introduced to the JA INSPIRE program and take an assessment to discover what jobs may suit their personality.

Session 2: Industry Research
Students are introduced to the top 20 industries in the country, highlighting those that are high-wage/high-demand in Western Massachusetts. Using their personality assessment from Session 1, they research careers that match their personality.

Session 3: Do You Have the Skills?
Students become familiar with the skills and education requirements needed to obtain a career, with a focus on soft skills.

JA INSPIRE Career Exploration Fair
The career fair will feature a showcase of opportunities at local businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and educational organizations. Exhibits will include interactive career stations with mentors who will share their career advice with students and will engage students with equipment, technology and the opportunity to “step into the shoes” of employees from all industries.

Junior Achievement has successfully held JA INSPIRE programs in Southeast Texas, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Kentuckiana (watch video).

Session 4: Reflection
Students reflect on the JA INSPIRE Career Exploration Fair and activities throughout the program.

JA INSPIRE Career Exploration Fair

Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 8am–12pm
(setup begins at 6:30am)
MassMutual Center
1277 Main Street, Springfield

Event Calendar

Attendees: Over 500 7th through 11th graders
Exhibitors: Colleges, universities, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, companies, local law enforcement and public safety organizations from throughout Western Massachusetts

Get Involved

There is no charge for exhibit space thanks to a generous grant to fund this initial event. To reserve a career station for your organization, contact Jennifer Connolly at 413-747-7670 or

Career stations include: a 20’x8’ exhibit space, two 6’ tables, four chairs, a wastebasket and table cloth. Additional space can be added for $250 per 10’x8’ of space. Electricity and internet service are extra and can be purchased through the MassMutual Center.

As an exhibitor, you agree to set up a table with information about your company/industry, have an exhibit that is interactive and engaging, and provide volunteer mentors to staff your career station for the duration of the event.

Thank you to our JA INSPIRE Partners:

AIM HR Solutions
City of Chicopee Public Schools
MA Hire Hampden County Workforce
Holyoke Public Schools
River East School to Career

Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.