Carolina Cluster Career Pathway Initiative creates career awareness at inaugural Carolina HBCU Talent Showcase

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Students from nine colleges and universities from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, participated in the first-ever Carolina HBCU Talent Showcase, hosted by the Carolina Cluster Career Pathway Initiative (CPI) on Monday, September 16, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

The Carolina HBCU Talent Showcase was a premier diversity recruiting event and conference that provided students an opportunity to meet, network and discuss career and educational opportunities with more than 150 employers and college and university administrators. The event aligns with the CPI's vision of developing transformative approaches to achieve student success by producing HBCU graduates who are career-focused and prepared for high-paying jobsĀ 

in the 21st century workforce. Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College comprise the Carolina Cluster CPI. Claflin is the lead institution for the 6 million grant which was awarded by UNCF through the Lilly Foundation.

"The vendors were very pleased with the attendance, and they were impressed with our students," said Cathy Scarborough Franklin, executive director of the Carolina Cluster CPI Program. "There was a lot of engagement between the students and the businesses and organizations that attended the Showcase. We are looking forward to reviewing and tracking the data that will tell us how many students received interviews, as a result of the Showcase, which resulted in job offers and internships that will help launch their careers."

In addition to Carolina Cluster schools, Allen University, Bennett College, Fayetteville State University, Morris College, Paine College, and The Citadel also participated in the HBCU Talent Showcase.

"The HBCU Talent Showcase provided me an opportunity to establish a personal connection with some of the corporate and industry representatives in attendance," said Christoph McFadden, a senior music major at Claflin. "It's much better when you have that face-to-face interaction."

McFadden, a native of Atlanta, Ga., is a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and the Claflin University Concert Choir.

"I was able to establish contacts with recruiters from the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program. They coordinate the HBCU in LA Program. Their mission is to increase diversity in Hollywood and throughout the entertainment industry. We discussed their experiential learning initiatives which offer internships with producers, actors, directors and other industry professionals. I also attended a seminar on financial literacy. The Carolina HBCU Talent Showcase truly was a wonderful event."

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