Kenai Job Shadow Day grows each year

Posted: Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Editor’s note: The following story was written by a Kenai Central High School junior participating in the school’s annual Job Shadow Day. The program is for students to get an opportunity to go out into the community to see if their dream job is what is they hoped it would be.

Children are sometimes asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

In order to help students decide what career may be right for them Kenai Central High School has a program called Job Shadow Day. In the program juniors at KCHS take half a day off from school to shadow a member of the business community.

The program began 12 years ago, initially as a partnership between the school and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. The program now works with Kenai Peninsula College, the Job Center and a wide variety of businesses that volunteer their time.

The program was originally offered only to a select number of students and now encompasses the entire junior class of 135 students.

Alan Fields, principal at KCHS, said the program is a great opportunity for juniors to go out and see what the world of business is like. The school is the only one in the district to have the program. Each year it is the principal’s decision whether or not to keep the program going.

When asked if he would continue the program Fields said, “I can’t see why we wouldn’t keep it going.”

Students began in November researching careers, typing resumes and preparing cover letters for employers. Organizing the program takes a cooperative effort from the teachers as well. Many classes have to work together to makes sure students meet the requirements needed for class credit.

Rob Pigg is the man in charge of overseeing the program’s logistics: meeting with teachers, helping coordinate transportation and helping to organize food for the chamber lunch the students attend at the end of the program.

This is Pigg’s first year being involved in the program. Programs like this have started to fall by the wayside, he said, and the reason he chose to participate is he sees it as a way to help the community.

“I can only see it becoming more popular and successful with the city of Kenai,” he said.

After a morning of hands-on experience, students and employers are required to fill out evaluations and offer suggestions on how the program could be made better.

“We want to know what they like about it, what they thought, and what could we do to make it better. Any changes that would be made would be to improve the overall process of the program,” Pigg said,

Pigg said the program is designed to bring together the school and the business community.

“It gives the community the opportunity to educate students and point them toward their futures,” he said.

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