After our first-ever virtual NW Youth Careers Expo, we asked students, educators, and exhibitors to tell us about their experiences at the Expo. The feedback helps PWA plan future career exploration.

Over the first two live days at the Expo, we saw thousands of students, educators and employers interact with each other in the Exhibit Halls, Auditorium and Industry Forums. Attendees logged more than 11,000 unique booth visits per day, joined scores of live booth sessions and viewed on average 1-2 career talks apiece in the auditorium. Here are some more key statistics and testimonials from this year’s data and survey.

Student Interest: What We’ve Learned So Far

Top 10 most visited booths (first two live days)

AWS Amazon, Nike, The Boeing Company, Legacy Health, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Hoffman Construction, TechTown PDX, Oregon Laborers Apprenticeship/737, Howard S. Wright


Top five most attended Auditorium talks (first two live days)

  • Welcome and Celebration Song
  • The Life You Want, by Mira Kaddoura
  • How to Land a Job (two sessions – one by Christina Vingerud and one by Lena Battan)
  • Inside Architecture with Abby and Octavio
  • How to Ace Your Job Interview (Joy Fowler)


Exhibitor and Educator Post-Expo Evaluations: Top 5 takeaways

Takeaway 1: Educators were very happy.

  • Fully 95% of educators described the virtual Expo as “excellent.”
  • “We appreciate having career exploration activities for our students. They learn so much and PWA makes this more exciting and ‘real world’ for students.”
  •  “Having a virtual opportunity was really helpful... I thought the format was straightforward, user-friendly, and great for collecting the information.”

Takeaway 2: Students were satisfied.

  • 95% of students in exit survey described the Expo as excellent or good.
  • 83% said they felt more prepared to make informed decisions about their career plans.
  • “Everyone I talked to was very helpful and supportive.”
  • “I learned about new things that I had no idea about and I will surely use in the future when applying for a job.”

Takeaway 3: Exhibitors were mostly satisfied.

  • Two-thirds of exhibitors in exit survey said the Expo was excellent or good; one-third said disappointing.
  • Liked: Virtual platform, pre-Expo communications, community engagement, diversity.
  • Disliked: Not knowing if anyone was “in” their booth. Lower turnout in Zoom talks. Tech issues.
  • “It was a very well-rounded event, offering a lot of different types of experiences for students and educators to participate in, way to pivot!”
  • “Virtual events have been a challenge across the board. This event has been the most well put together of any event we've done, but the engagement level with students was disappointing.”

Takeaway 4: Exhibitors and educators strongly favor the in-person Expo.

  • A majority of educators, and 80+% of exhibitors, favor in person over virtual.
  • A majority of participants saw merit to offering “both if feasible.”
  • “The virtual event was great given our current circumstances, but the energy of the in-person events are really difficult to replicate online."
  • “In-person provides that hands-on learning and interaction. But having all the info from the exhibitors online is so helpful too.”

Takeaway 5: Retention looks overall high.

  • Fully 100% of educators said they intend to return in 2022.
  • 77% of exhibitors said they intend to return in 2022. (15% + said “maybe” and 7% said “probably not”).
  • “I will move mountains to allow my students this opportunity.” – Educator, Expo 2021

Thank you again to all participants in the virtual NW Youth Careers Expo. There are more than 6,000 students from 75+ high schools registered to attend the Expo. Access is open to registered students and educators until Friday, May 14, 2021.

Save the date: Next year’s NW Youth Careers Expo will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Details to come!

2021 NW Youth Careers Expo: Fun facts and Expo survey takeaways