NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — For some families in Hampton Roads, when the teenagers get part-time jobs it’s more than an option; it’s a necessity. John Eley is a councilman in the city of Newport News, where 16% of families live in poverty.

“A lot of our children throughout the Hampton Roads area have jobs, our goal is to give them careers,” Eley said.

The What’s Next for Success Foundation and Councilman Eley will host a free career fair Friday morning for the region’s high school students at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.

“They’re going to have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with major companies such as Northrup Grumman, with the Newport News Shipyard, we have Jefferson Labs, and we have Busch Gardens. We have over 60 companies across the Hampton Roads area.”

And if a teen wants his or her name up in lights, veteran music producer Hannon Lane, who has worked with Rihanna and Madonna, is one of three entertainment professionals who offer advice on how to land in Hollywood.

“I was that kid back there when Missy and Tim and they came out and you go those same kinds of kids who are interested that … somebody around here is a diamond in the rough who’s going to be successful,” said Lane, a native of Newport News.

The teen job program runs from 10 a.m. to noon, and opens to adults beginning at 1 p.m.

Eley says the social return on the career fair’s investment is priceless.

“Data shows when people are busy and have good high-paying jobs the crime rate tends to go down,” Eley said.

The career fair will also include resume reviews, support for veterans, and financial literacy. For more information call Gee Eley at 757-837-8950 or Larry Brunson at 757-975-5309.

UPDATE: WAVY’s Kiahnna Patterson reports more than 500 high school juniors and seniors attended the career fair.

More than 500 high school juniors and seniors attended a career fair on Thursday, Oct. 26. Photo courtesy: Kiahnna Patterson/WAVY