For nearly a decade, the Peoria Special Manufacturing Group has held one of the largest Manufacturing Day events. The Greater Peoria Manufacturing Expo played host to middle and high schools in the Peoria region, and more than 1,500 students toured manufacturing firms to learn first-hand about the great careers offered. This year, the event was opened up to multiple career areas resulting in an explosion of student attendance. Over a four-day period, more than 3,500 students and faculty converged on the Peoria Civic Center’s Exhibition Halls for the first Career Spark event. Led by manufacturing, the event also highlighted careers in Healthcare, Public Safety and Utilities, Culinary Arts, Graphics, and Business & Entrepreneurship. Dozens of local companies were in attendance to demonstrate and talk about available careers. The main sponsors of the day were the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Department of Employment Security who provided grant support.