Warwick chamber sponsors successful job shadowing program at local high schools

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:45

Warwick - As some students watched and learned how newspapers are produced, others spent time in a courtroom with lawyers, while others observed a surgical procedure on someone’s beloved pet. In other settings, students learned to care for and teach children, observed and discussed medical and health fields and learned the importance of police officers providing the community with a sense of security. Those students were just a few of the participants in the recent High School Job Shadowing program. More than 80 high school juniors and seniors from Warwick Valley High School, S.S. Seward High School in the Florida School District and George Baker High School in the Tuxedo School District had an opportunity to spend a day exploring career areas with local employers, with the work settings as varied as the students’ areas of interest. Now in its third year, the job shadowing program is sponsored by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and coordinated by a committee of Chamber volunteers and school representatives led by Marci Oakley, Sherry Bukovcan and Doug Stage. Over the past few years, the program has grown. During the first year, the committee worked solely with the Warwick School District and placed approximately 30 students. In the second year, the program expanded to include the Florida and Tuxedo School Districts, placing approximately 60 students. This year, the numbers rose again, placing more than 80 students from the three school districts with nearly 40 businesses and organizations. After completing a survey indicating their career areas of interest, students were matched with local employers who volunteered their time. More than 75 employers and students attended the evening kickoff meeting for an introduction to the program and an opportunity to meet those with whom they were matched. Each student then spent a day shadowing their employer and learning about their job and career area, educational and licensing requirements and day to day work activities. This year’s students participated in more than 300 hours of job shadowing time over a five-day period. To evaluate the program for future improvements, both employers and students were asked to complete a short survey. Based on their job shadowing experiences, some students confirmed their area of interest, while others realized they weren’t as interested in a particular field as they had originally thought. For some, the visit opened up new possibilities. Wrote one student: “I’m not exactly sure what I want to pursue, but this opened my mind to another option.” Planning ahead for next year, the Chamber Job Shadowing Committee seeks additional committee members from the local business community for this valuable and gratifying program, and student representatives will be invited to join the committee for increased student involvement and feedback. Louise Hutchison, a communications specialist for the Warwick Valley School District, provided the story and photos on the job shadowing program.

The Job Shadowing Committee extends its appreciation to all participating businesses and organizations for their support and assistance:
Annie Rabbitt - Politics
Barefoot Photography - Photography
Beautiful People - Sports for Children with Disabilities
Bonacic, Krahulik, Cuddeback, McMahon & Brady - Law
Cablevision - Communications
Computer Guy - Computer Technology
Copper Bottom Restaurant - Hospitality/Food Service
Corwin’s Florist - Floral
Donohue & Nicosia - Law
Dr. Deborah Bernstein - Psychology
Edward Jones - Ed Lynch - Financial Advisor Co.
F.A.S Training - Personal Training
Florida UFSD - Golden Hill Elementary - Education
Florida UFSD - S.S. Seward High School - Education
Galloway Dental - Health Care
Holiday Inn - Hospitality/Food Service
LAN Associates - Engineering/Architecture
Lazear Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home - Mortuary
Lee Ferrec Golf - Athletics
Mechanical Rubber - Engineering
Michael Sweeton - Politics/Public Service
OC Emergency Services Center - Public Safety
Provident Bank - Banking
Red Shutters - Interior Design
Rhythm & Rhyme Childcare - Children’s Services
Robert Baier Handwriting Svcs. - Forensic Document Examiner
Rylex - Custom Cabinetry
Sharlene’s Hair Design - Beauty
ShopRite of Warwick - Food
St. Anthony Community Hospital - Health Care
Stage, Nathans & Ziobro - Law
Steven Kenny - Art
Style Counsel - Fashion
Thom Woglom Construction - Carpentry/Green Technology
Times Herald-Record - Journalism
Vernon Veterinary Clinic - Veterinary
Warwick Police Dept. - Public Safety
Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce - Business Support
Warwick Valley Community Center Pre-School - Education
Warwick Valley Dispatch - Journalism
WTBQ Radio - Media
WVCSD Kings Elementary- Art Education
WVCSD Sanfordville Elementary - Education/Psychology
WVCSD Warwick Middle School - Occupational Therapy
YNN News - Media