A national conference focused on professional skill development for college students is coming to Iowa next month. The Future Business Leaders of America’s (FBLA) Collegiate Career Connections Conference will be held on Oct. 26-28 in downtown Des Moines. Registration is open through Oct. 18, and students who are attending community colleges or four-year institutions are encouraged to participate.

The conference will offer attendees 14 hours of fast-paced professional development opportunities, such as mock interviews, professional headshots and networking events. Participants will also be able to take part in scheduled sessions on recruitment, corporate citizenship and employee benefits.

In collaboration with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a highlight of the conference will feature office tours and interview opportunities with some of the area’s top businesses. Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company with headquarters in Des Moines, will provide a day-long visit and opportunities to interact with representatives on-site on Oct. 27.

“Hosting FBLA’s Career Connections Conference in Des Moines is a prime example of FBLA’s commitment to bringing unparalleled career development to our collegiate members wherever they may be,” said Alexander T. Graham, FBLA president and CEO. “With a vibrant business community, Des Moines represents an ideal location in the heart of the Midwest with easy access to some of the best colleges and universities in our nation.”

FBLA is a career and technical student organization (CTSO) that provides opportunities for students to apply the skills they have developed in classrooms and coursework through conferences, competitions, community service events and other activities. FBLA focuses on business leadership and assists more than 230,000 student members each year. Participation in CTSOs like FBLA help students explore career paths, make connections with businesses and their communities and strengthen technical and professional skills.

“The FBLA Collegiate Career Connections Conference is an opportunity for students to make valuable connections for their futures and see what opportunities are available in Iowa,” said Chris Dzurick, education consultant for the Iowa Department of Education. “We are excited to host students from across the country for this event focused on professional and career skill development.”

A second FBLA Collegiate Career Connections Conference will be held in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 30.

To register for the Des Moines event and view the three-day schedule, visit the FBLA website. Both FBLA collegiate members and non-FBLA college students are eligible to register for the conference.