The Ada Jobs Foundation is excited to host Career Discovery Day –My Future, My Career, My Responsibility for all eighth grade students in Pontotoc County. This will be the first year for this program, which will expose students to jobs in the area and to the skills required.
The idea for the program was sparked by a visit to the state capitol. Mike Southard, President & CEO of the Ada Jobs Foundation, was visiting Senator Susan Paddack, when they asked the two high schools students shadowing her what their future career plans were. Their answers illustrated a disconnect between awareness of available jobs, training required for these jobs, and how theycould utilize existing programs to receive this training.
Planning for a program that would address this disconnect began the following week, with the original intent to focus on high school students. However after SenatorPaddack attended a conference, she learned that eighth grade is the pinnacle year to address student’s future goals and plans.
The inaugural event will be held on January 18, 2012 at East Central University. Students will get information about three specific career areas that they selected based on a career assessment that all the students completed earlier in the year. Representatives from 17 different career clusters will be presenting about the jobs available in that field and training requirements to obtain those positions. The speakers will also be videotaped, so these segments can be used for continued learning opportunities.
Plans are underway to make this an annual event for eighth graders and to providecareer follow-up and guidance as the students progress through high school. All the education institutes in the county, including college, vocational, and county school districts have been involved in the process. This will be thefirst ever countywide career expo for eighth grade students in the country, and has already received interest from other communities and programs.
While results from the program will not be visible until several years into the future, the goal is to create a better-educated workforce for tomorrow. By growing our own workforce, we can help insure the economic stability of theregion and address workforce shortages.
As part of the program, the parents of eighth grade students are encouraged toattend the Parent Information Meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 5:30-6:30 pm, at the Seminar Center at Pontotoc Technology Center. This meeting will cover high school graduation requirements, potential job opportunities for students after high school graduation, Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program, and a review of the Career Expo. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend, and area businesses have sponsored a variety of door prizes to be given away atthis event.
For more information, please contact the Ada Jobs Foundation at 580 firstname.lastname@example.org.