JA Inspire

Help build our future workforce

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 annual event designed to:

  • Engage students in grades 7–11 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 more than 500 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 learn about 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 personalities.

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 showcases opportunities at local businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and educational organizations. Exhibits include interactive career stations with mentors who share their career advice with students and engage them with equipment, technology and the opportunity to “step into the shoes” of employees from all industries.

Exhibitors include colleges, universities, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, companies, local law enforcement and public safety organizations from throughout Western Massachusetts.

Session 4: Reflection

Students reflect on the JA INSPIRE Career Exploration Fair and activities throughout the program.

Get Involved

To reserve a career station for your organization or learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Jennifer Connolly at 413-747-7670 or [email protected].

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