What do you get when you combine 128 high school juniors and 64 area businesses?
In Kenai, the answer to that question is another successful Job Shadow Day.
This past Wednesday marked the 18th year that Job Shadow Day organizers have matched high school students with local businesses to help students gain some first-hand experience about potential career choices. While it may be just a half day in the work environment, with that experience, students can begin planning for the type of education and training they will need to pursue that career, or, make a decision to pursue a different career altogether. Either way, the experience can be valuable to a future member of the work force.
Students also are introduced to some important skills for job seekers -- namely, filling out a job application and writing a good cover letter and resume. When it comes time to apply for that first job, that might be the most important experience to take away from the day.
Organizing the event is a massive undertaking in and of itself. Pulling it off involves collaboration between the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, Kenai Central High School and the Peninsula Job Center.
The event concluded with a luncheon, where students and job shadow hosts heard from two Kenai Central graduates, Kyle Kornelis and Stephanie Queen, about their experiences. Both have followed career paths that led them Outside for college, but eventually back here for their careers. And they had plenty of good advice for students trying to determine their own future career path.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the event is the number of businesses willing to participate. While there are certainly some careers that have yet to find their way to the Peninsula, there is still a diverse business community here. And Job Shadow Day wouldn't work if just a few of them were willing to participate. Our thanks to those 64 businesses willing to share their time and expertise with what may be a future employee.
We hope Kenai students were able to get some good experience after their half day in the working world. And we hope their Job Shadow Day hosts got something out of it as well. Our thanks and appreciation to all those who make it happen.