WENATCHEE — Virtual high school career fairs are in the works for this fall with help from a $50,000 Career Connect Washington grant received by the Apple STEM Network in partnership with the Spokane STEM Network.

The Apple STEM Network is hosted by the North Central Educational Service District that covers 29 school districts in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties.

The grant funds are meant to connect students living in rural and remote communities with career pathways, career and technical education programs and local employers, according to a press release from the Apple STEM Network.

Before the pandemic, regional events like Wenatchee’s College and Career Expo and the Okanogan Career Expo were attended by thousands of students from across the region. This year, a series of virtual career fairs will be offered for high school career and technical education students for six weeks in October and November.

The new program could have some advantages, said Sue Kane, Apple STEM Network co-director.

“Transportation has been a consistent barrier for many students to engage in these events, and we will now have a way to offer students in rural and remote areas opportunities to engage with employers and training programs,” she said.

Career exploration events for younger students are being planned for February and March, as well, reaching out to communities in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant, Lincoln, Stevens, Adams, Whitman, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties.

Students and educators interested in learning more or participating can call 665-2610 or send an email to Dennis Conger, dennisc@ncesd.org, or Tami McBride, tamim@ncesd.org.

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151