By Anne Allen, Advisory Coach, Grades 7-12
Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. Eleventh-grade students across the district recently took an important step in making that post-graduation leap into the real world through job shadowing.
What exactly is job shadowing? An out-of-the-classroom learning opportunity, job shadowing provides students with a first-hand experience of what a company workplace is like by touring different departments and operations within the company and spending time with employees to ask questions. The experience ultimately helps students make their post-graduation plans.
Job shadowing is an important part of CPS’ Career-Based Learning curriculum and participating companies are often district partners.
On Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16, students from Robert A. Taft IT, Oyler, Gilbert A. Dater, Riverview East, and Woodward Career Technical high schools visited various partner companies. Below are a few highlights:
Taft at SORTA/Metro
From maintenance to graphic design—a simple bus trip has a lot of moving parts at SORTA/Metro. Taft students met with different teams at the corporate office, the Bond Hill facility and the Queensgate maintenance facility interacting with associates from the communications and graphic design team, maintenance and operations teams, as well as a visit with Darryl Haley, executive vice president and chief operations officer at SORTA/Metro.
“The next five years of your life will determine the quality of the next 30 years of your life,” Haley told the students.
Taft students who did not shadow at SORTA/Metro shadowed at the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, where they learned about non-profit careers and helped prepare the organization’s upcoming 5K walk and fundraiser.
Woodward Career Technical at Messer Construction
Woodward students spent time with Messer Construction employees across marketing, risk management, virtual design and construction, human resources, accounting and economic inclusion (supplier diversity). Some employees are even CPS alumni themselves. Students met Heather Hayden, Woodward class of 2012 (valedictorian), who is now a journeyman carpenter in Messer’s craftforce, and Sarah Brockert, Hughes STEM graduate, who now works in virtual design.
“I want to work in a building and workplace culture like this,” said one student of her experience.
“I thought construction was just building, but there’s a lot more to it,” said another student. One student was so impressed that they decided to talk to their counselor about adjusting their career plan.
The day concluded with a lunch and learn led by Brooks Parker, vice president of craftforce development. Parker shared his story of starting in construction 40 years ago as a journeyman carpenter, and the different ways his diverse experience served as his education, especially when he decided to get a degree later in life.
“Never stop learning,” Parker told students. “I was 52 years old when I got my associate’s degree.”
Dater and Oyler at DHL
As part of a new partnership between the district and DHL, United Way, Supply Chain OKI, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, PNC Bank, and Cincinnati Works, Oyler and Dater students can participate in a logistics career pathway. Students saw what a career in logistics would be like with a visit across the river to DHL’s CVG Hub. Learn more and watch a video about this new program.
More students will have opportunities to shadow different companies later this spring.