Pendleton, Oregon: On Friday, October 12th, six local businesses and organizations took part in the first School to Careers job shadow for the 2018-2019 school year.
This event was organized by Eastern Oregon Business Source School to Careers Coordinator Jane Waldher. The School to Careers program is a regional workforce development initiative that helps local business and industry create career-related learning opportunities for high school students. It is operated through a partnership between Eastern Oregon Business Source and local school districts.
The work involved in putting together a day of job shadows begins with finding local businesses and organizations willing to take part in the program. Any business interested in creating a career related experience for local students is encouraged to reach out to Eastern Oregon Business Source. After community partners are established, Waldher works with Pendleton High School staff to find students interested in each job shadow placement. A normal placement usually involves two students.
Before the job shadow, students go through “Jump Start Training,” designed to help educate them about important job related behavior like showing up on time, dressing properly, and behaving appropriately while at work. Eastern Oregon Business Source handles all of the paperwork related to releasing the students from school, and the school district’s liability insurance covers students while they are taking part in a job shadow.
On the day of the job shadow, each student is responsible for arriving at the business on time. Job shadow days are scheduled on Pendleton High School staff in- service days so that there is no conflict with students’ class schedules. This also means that the date job shadows take place is known far in advance, which is helpful for businesses.
The job shadow itself involves students spending a few hours working with staff from the business or organization in order to get some first hand experience with what day-to-day work is like in a particular profession. This usually involves students getting the opportunity to complete basic tasks that would be expected of an entry-level employee. A job shadow also gives student a chance to interact, and get to know, a potential future employer. After each job shadow the business or organization is asked to provide feedback on the student’s performance to help the student continue to grow as a future member of the work force. Students are also asked to provide feedback about their experience that is given to the business or organization.
Businesses and organizations that took part in the first job shadow event include: The Umatilla County IT department, The Umatilla County Health Department, The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, Round Up City Plumbing, Blue Mountain Wildlife, and The Pendleton Center For The Arts.