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Thousands of Students Explore Careers at CareerQuest Tennessee

More than 3,000 area students from around the region took part in CareerQuest Tennessee 2023 events at the Ballad Health Athletic Center on the campus of East Tennessee State University. Each student had the opportunity to learn about careers from the region's employers in advanced manufacturing, construction, health care and IT.

The First Tennessee Development District (FTDD) coordinates the event with regional professionals in each sector who in turn, lead the design and recruitment of the participating employers for their respective sector.

Since 2017, students have enjoyed this highly interactive event where they spend time with industry leaders, practitioners, HR professionals, and college and university professors. learning about careers they can enter right here in our region. Students had the chance to gain hands-on experience, talk about career paths, and learned what it is like to work for some the of the region's employers.

The FTDD is excited that Ballad Health was again the platinum sponsor for the region’s premiere career exploration event. Other sponsors include AO Smith, UT Industrial Services, WJHL, Daytime Tri Cities, and the Northeast Tennessee Local Workforce Development Board.

This during the course of CareerQuest Tennessee, students vote for their favorite sector. The winning sector is awarded the Best Sector Award. For the first time, the IT sector won this highly coveted trophy, which will spend the year traveling between the participating IT sector employers to display. “Everyone worked very hard to bring a fun and educational IT sector,“ shared sector lead John McMean of Northeast State Community College, “it would not have been possible without BrightRidge, TVA, ETSU Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology, & Surveying, Johnson City Police EOD, Sullivan County Sherriff’s Office, ZenHammer, iCode, Business Information Systems, and Northeast State Community College Technologies Division.”

More than 400 volunteers help make this event a success each year. 2023 was no different with volunteers from across the region, including American Job Centers and Northeast State Community College. One highlight of CareerQuest is a VIP event with elected officials, community leaders and sponsors who have the opportunity to experience the event just as students do. They also enjoyed a brunch catered by regional high school culinary students who partner to provide delicious food.

To learn more about the event including several exciting volunteer opportunities in 2024, please visit

For questions about this or other FTDD News, please contact Mark Stevans,

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