The 17th annual Education and Career Fair (ECF) brought out thousands to Tradex in Abbotsford on Monday.
The event featured over 70 exhibitors to assist secondary school students, job seekers, adult learners and career changers to examine education and career paths. There are colleges, universities, industry associations, career training, employers, and other organizations.
“When we see a lot of these kids, they’re starting in Grade 10, so they’re just starting their career planning. This lets them see a lot of opportunities, a lot of schools that they probably wouldn’t have had access to other than at an event such as this,” said tradeshow manager Cheryl Grenick.
Around 2,500 to 3,000 people came to the show on Monday. The ECF’s Abbotsford event is now the second largest out of the eight shows ECF does across B.C. and Alberta, behind only Vancouver, which sees over 5,000 visitors.
The Abbotsford ECF is the only one in the Fraser Valley, and students come in from neighbouring municipalities such as Mission, Chilliwack, and Hope.
“We’ve seen definitely a rise in interest from the public schools, just because there’s nothing like us. They’re almost fitting us into their career planning curriculum. They’re contacting us right in September, to say, ‘When are your events? Because we want to slot it into our calendar,” said Grenick.