BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The local business community wants middle schoolers to know about all of the career opportunities our area has to offer.

The Greater Binghamton Educational Outreach Program will be bringing nearly two-thousand 8th grade students to SUNY Broome’s campus so they can start thinking about their futures.

SUNY Broome and Broome-Tioga BOCES announced the return of the SPARK Career Exploration Fair for 8th graders across the Southern Tier.

This will be the first time the event is hosted in person since its inception in 2020.

Principal of the Career and Technical Education program at Broome-Tioga BOCES Matt Sheehan says, “Workforce and what you need to do to get there. So, if it’s going into a trade and being with a BOCES instructor, or if it’s coming to SUNY Broome to get that two-year degree that leads to that, that doesn’t happen often. A lot of times you get someone from the industry who comes in and talks about it, but doesn’t talk about the other pieces, so knowing that and seeing that connection is huge.”

This year, SPARK will feature 120 interactive activities in partnership with more than 30 local businesses.

Some of the participating organizations include BAE Systems, La Bella, NYSEG, and the Raymond Corporation.

The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Wednesday on SUNY Broome’s Campus.