(Press release for the NC Chamber of Commerce web site, F4K.org web site and for distribution to F4K donors and partners)
Contact: Susan Millliken FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: (800) 965-8541 x205
Mobile: (919) 308-6441
Job Shadowing—It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore
Providing work-based learning opportunities to high school students makes sense for your business. Here’s how Futures for Kids (F4K) can help.
October 17, 2010
SANFORD, North Carolina—Erick Andino is a Progress Energy success story. Erick is going to school on Progress Energy’s tab, filling a high-need role in the company’s Nuclear Power division, and creating a career path that will allow him to support himself and his family in a job he loves.
F4K’s web-based career exploration program connected Erick with Progress Energy. The nonprofit’s mission is to connect middle and high school students with online Career Coaches at companies across North Carolina. Now, F4K is launching a tool that will enable businesses to easily create job shadowing opportunities for students like Erick.
How did Progress Energy hire Erick Andino?
Two years ago, Erick was a senior at Southern Lee High School in Sanford, NC. The school’s Career Counselor used her F4K database to identify students with an interest in engineering. Erick was cherry-picked to meet with Lee McCollum about the Power Careers Program at Progress Energy. Based on his grades and counselor’s recommendation, Erick was accepted and started school at Central Carolina Community College in the Fall of 2008
Now Erick attends school for 20 hours a week at CCCC and works for 20 hours a week at Progress Energy’s Harris Nuclear Power Plant. Progress Energy has a loyal employee in Erick Andino, who can also pursue a 4-year college degree through the company’s benefits program. Progress Energy saved the money it would have paid a headhunter to find and relocate a Power Plant technician from out-of-state.
What is Work-Based Learning?
Work-Based Learning opportunities (WBLs) are any opportunity in which students engage with employers to apply classroom lessons to workplace environments. WBLs go beyond job shadowing and can include apprenticeships, co-ops, classroom speakers, company visits, job shadowing and mock interviews.
North Carolina’s perfect storm—skilled jobs meet unskilled workers
More and more jobs require training beyond high school, while thousands of students are still dropping out.
According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, nearly 42,000 students in NC did not graduate from high school in 2008. The lost lifetime earnings for that class of dropouts alone totals nearly $10.8B. In some NC counties, the high school dropout rate is 30% or greater
At the same time, 64% of all jobs currently require at least a high school diploma**.
By 2018, 62% of the workforce in NC will require some college.*
Why should I provide Work-Based Learning?
Progress Energy spent $14,000 to hire Erick Andino. That’s a conservative estimate which includes community college tuition and a percentage of the recruiter’s salary. Compare that with $20,000+ that the company pays to relocate out-of-state technical workers, who have a higher turnover rate. Work-based learning is cheaper than importing workers.
With fewer dropouts, communities increase their tax base and decrease social assistance. Businesses create a local, sustainable pool of skilled workers.
WBLs are not only for companies in manufacturing or technical industries. Keeping kids in school and on a career path benefits every company and every citizen in our state.
F4K makes it easy for businesses to promote their company to students and parents, provide a volunteer platform to their employees, communicate with students interested in careers at their company and offer job shadowing and other work-based learning opportunities to students.
How can my company offer Work-Based Learning opportunities?
- Go to F4K and get involved.
- Sign up as a Career Coach.
- Check the work-based learning oppportunities you are willing to provide.
Regardless of how you get involved, you’ll be improving the bottom line for your business, your community, our students and our state.
* NC Community College System President Dr. Scott Ralls
** U.S. Department of Labor
For more information:
- Futures for Kids (F4K) web site
- Find out more about becoming a Career Coach
- Progress Energy Power Careers Program