Navigating Students to Career Pathways

YOUNGSTOWN – The Business Journal’s Brain Gain Navigators program this month features virtual live career exploration events at Hynes Industries and The Hope Center for Cancer Care.

Both events are firsts for Navigators. The Hynes program, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. April 13, is the first look into manufacturing careers. Then at noon April 14, the Hope Center event will be the first look at health care careers.

In partnership with Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley and the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio, The Business Journal launched Brain Gain Navigators to provide virtual career exploration opportunities at a time when field trips and employer visits are not possible.

Navigators began with the auto tech career path, which is evolving toward all-electric. A tour of the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center demonstrated educational and training opportunities. Then at Sweeney Chevrolet in Boardman, auto techs talked about their work and what makes their job rewarding.

A focus on legal careers featured Judge Carla Baldwin, who discussed her path from school to working as a prosecutor to sitting on the Youngstown Municipal Court bench. We also met Baldwin’s chief bailiff and chief probation officer, who showed the number of career paths in law.

Upcoming Navigators events include tours of Pennex Aluminum and Farmers National Bank.

Events are hosted using Junior Achievement’s JA Inspire Virtual online platform, so students can attend events in the classroom or at home. All students are encouraged to participate.

To register your students, go to and fill out the registration form, as well as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA form, on the site.

Check the website for future event dates and times. The Business Journal plans to host 10 throughout the year.

Tour and event recordings, as well as exclusive bonus content, are posted at

Pictured: The Brain Gain Navigators event introduced students to Youngstown Municipal Court Chief Probation Officer Melinda Vath, Judge Carla Baldwin, and George Williams, chief bailiff, who spoke on the career paths in law. The goal of Navigators is to explore all options in a given field, such as manufacturing, health care, automotive and financial services.