Eighth-Graders Part of JA's Job Exploration Day

Junior Achievement's Job Exploration Day Reaches 1,000-Plus Eighth-Graders
Posted on 04/20/2018
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photo of students helping with concrete pourBy the end of the school year, about 1,000 Lakota eighth-graders will have visited a local business for a taste of what their future career might entail. It’s all part of Lakota’s continuing partnership with Junior Achievement to bring students a “Job Exploration Day”.

More than 500 students from Plains and Ridge junior schools participated in the job shadowing event at one of 20 partner businesses late last month. Students at Hopewell and Liberty junior schools will enjoy the same experience next month.

“My goal is always to reach as many students as possible with as rich a variety of business experiences as possible,” said Carol Lucio, district manager of Junior Achievement OKI Partners, Inc. With that in mind, this year’s planning involved blending both schools, giving students a larger variety of businesses from which they could choose.

The leading goal of the on-site visits, of course, is to encourage students to discover potential career paths. At Pioneer Cladding and Glazing Systems in Mason, for example, Plains Junior eighth-grader Kara French realized the range of positions that make a company go round.

“I learned about all the different types of engineers that it takes coming together to produce one product," Kara said. “It’s not just the engineers who contribute to the final product either. Managers and other people make everything come together and it opened my eyes to the other roles involved.”

A local coffee shop called Rooted Grounds showcased the art of running a small business and gave students hands-on experience when they challenged students to help come up with a Lakota blend of coffee. “I learned a lot today about what I can expect after I go off to college and maybe start my own business,” said Plains student Lena Albright.

From manufacturing, technology and hospitality to retail, law enforcement and even entertainment, the range of experiences was vast. Junior Achievement encouraged partner businesses to keep their students active and engaged, challenging them to give them an idea of exactly what they do in a very short time.

At Liberty Center and Funny Bone, students took an active role in developing the plan for family-friendly events that they’ll be invited to attend one day. Students at Baker Concrete started their day just like Baker’s employees do - stretching - and Cincinnati State helped students understand the lesser-known side of their business - that is, how they operate like a business.

Students like Ridge Junior School’s Luke Meyer, who visited Cisco Systems, were most struck by what they witnessed in the staff they met. “They’re all really passionate about what they do and that makes me want to consider it as a career more.”