Carroll County Area Technology Center students participate in Job Shadow Day
More than 180 Carroll County Area Technology Center (ATC) students participated in the 8th Annual National Groundhog Job Shadow Day (NGJSD) on February 2.
The group visited 24-area business and industries, just as students from around the country did the same in their communities.
More than 100,000 businesses and organizations participate annually in the United States as a way to help kids explore a variety of career opportunities they may not ordinarily get to see.
Jennifer Stafford, principal at the Carroll Co. ATC, said the experience is invaluable to her students.
"Job Shadow Day gives students a real-life look at careers that are available in our area and a chance to see how what they are learning right now can be applied in the workforce," said Stafford. "This is a priceless lesson for them; it's not something we can teach. It’s something they have to see."
The students received a first-hand look at occupations ranging from those at the local hospital, auto dealers and local government offices to those in area chemical, steel and utility industries.
B.J. Miles, a 20-year employee and industrial maintenance mechanic with local chemical company Arkema, served as a student mentor for the day and sees NGJSD as a way for students to make choices about their careers.
"This event gives me the opportunity to show students a potential career and the skills needed in the workplace," he said. "It gives the students an opportunity to make choices about what they want to do and helps them become more focused."
Jesse Johnson, a senior in the industrial maintenance class at the ATC, was already thinking of his career choice as he toured the Gallatin Steel plant.
"This is something I definitely want to do as a career," he said. "I would like to serve as a summer intern and start college in the fall to get my electrical degree."
Thanks to the combined efforts of the Carroll Co. Training Consortium (CCTC) area students like Johnson have a better chance of going to college.
The organization, comprised of local businesses, industries and educational partners, was formed to provide a scholarship fund aimed at area high school and ATC students. Since November of 1999, approximately $92,000 in tuition and books have been awarded to 54 students.
Not only does job shadowing benefit the students, some local businesses see benefits for themselves as well.
Andy Raisor is the service manager at a Carrollton auto dealer and hosted several of the ATC students who observed trained mechanics. Raisor thinks the event is a way to introduce perspective employees to the workforce.
"The kids here have been very interested in how the shop operates and it has entered my mind that some of them could become future employees," he said.
Jill Ralston, a business/industry training and development specialist located at Carroll Co. ATC has seen first hand the benefits of getting students out into the world of work for both them and the local employers.
"There is no replacement for the learning experience these students will encounter during this event," said Ralston. "For some, this is their first time in a real working environment; for employers, they get a chance to expose a potential employee to the kinds of situations encountered in the workforce."
NGJSD is a joint effort of former Secretary of State General Colin Powell’s America’s Promise - Alliance for Youth, the American Society for Association Executives, Junior Achievement, and the National School to Work Office.
The Office of Career and Technical Education is an agency of the Education Cabinet’s Department for Workforce Investment. OCTE administers 53 area technology centers, which are secondary schools that offer students hands-on training in business, graphics, construction, manufacturing, automotive and information technology fields and health and human services.
The Kentucky Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information about our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or www.workforce.ky.gov, or call 502-564-6606.