High School juniors, seniors take part in National Job Shadow Day

The event is on the same day as Groundhog Day and gives students a chance to get an up close look at potential careers

FULTON, Miss. (WCBI) – While Punxsutawney Phil reportedly saw his shadow on this groundhog day, it was a different type of shadowing for some local high school students.

Seniors and juniors in Itawamba County schools spent their day as part of “National Groundhog Job Shadow Day.”

A group of Itawamba County high school seniors got a change of scenery, trading the classroom for the Fulton offices for Jesco.

“The goal is to give them an idea of all the careers available in construction,” said Rachael Hill, of Jesco.

Part of the lesson was hands-on, using small tools such as a power drill, learning how to tie rebar, and doing layout site work.

Jesco, along with other companies and government agencies partnered with Career Coaches in Itawamba County schools for the job shadow day. The career coaches came on board in the district in October and wanted to organize a day where students could get an up-close look at jobs they may have an interest in, and how skills they learn in school can be put into action.

“The job shadowing is one of the best days we can offer any student at the high school level because it brings the real world to them, they are able to go on the job to see if this is what they want to do as a career before they major in something or go into a two-year program at the community college level,” said Lori McGee Holland, a career coach at Mantachie High School.

While the job shadow day gave students an opportunity to get some hands-on experience in different fields, it also gave companies like Jesco an opportunity to do some recruiting for future employees.

“With a company like Jesco, all the employees have been here for a good bit of time, we don’t have a lot of turnovers, it’s a great company.  But when you lose that one person who has been here forty or fifty years, you lose a lot of knowledge, so we’re hoping to bring that back in and train them up,” Hill said.

For students, the day at Jesco was not only fun but also a real-life learning experience.

“They show us a good way of how everything works here, give you a lot of opportunities, different pathways, they show you what they do hands-on, made a great presentation when they sat us down and talked to us about everything,” said IAHS Senior John Vandenheuvel.

“Man, I had no idea the variety in construction, and now, this is something simple I think I could go into,” said Tremont Attendance Center Senior Drake Garcia.

Career Coaches plan on making the Groundhog Job Shadow Day an annual event.

More than 150 students took part in the Groundhog Job Shadow Day.

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