On Nov. 1 and 2, students from Warren County high schools spent time in the workplaces of seven businesses learning about career opportunities. Job Shadow Days began as a response to student and business needs. Growing interest in Job Shadowing, where students spend time in the workplace to learn about careers, put stress on some of the popular destinations.
"Some of our business partners were feeling the strain of accommodating lots of students one at a time," noted John Lasher, School to Work Coordinator for the Warren Forest Higher Education Council. "This program enables groups of students to see the workplace and gather information about careers of interest, while reducing stress on our business partners. In addition, students with challenges finding transportation to the business locations are now bused there, removing another barrier to the job shadow experience."
Students create a profile using a computer program called e-Choices to help identify areas of interest and careers matching those interests. From there students decide which career to explore further and begin the registration process to go on a Job Shadow. As it applies to individuals, the Job Shadow program has a lot of flexibility, but Job Shadow Days are designed to support groups traveling to popular business destinations.
Kathy Mohney of Allegheny National Forest, chats with students about various local
career opportunities and education requirements in the forestry field.
This fall's business partners included Allegheny National Forest, Betts Industries, EmergyCare of Warren County, Hairworks Salon, Lewis Funeral Home, Radio Partners LLC, and Thorne's Bi-Lo of Warren. Lasher commented, "Obviously, this program would not exist without the support of our business partners. Their commitment to the young people of Warren County is commendable."
The school district allows students to use Job Shadowing as one of the optional projects to complete their graduation requirements. All students build portfolios of material that will help them after high school, whatever their post-secondary plans.
For more information about Job Shadowing and the other School to Work Programs of the Hi-Ed Council, go online to www.hi-ed.org.