MontcoWorks is NOW launching a high school job search program

NARYSTAVN – What do I want to do when I grow up? What’s next? These questions are often faced by students taking the next step after high school.

MontcoWorks NOWThe organization, which is part of the Montgomery County Intermediate, will soon launch an initiative that will give up to 100 Montgomery County high school students the opportunity to learn about employment opportunities in graduate school to help them answer that question.

“(It’s) just a good way to connect the world of employment with our local school districts,” said youth adviser Hakim Jones.

Daniel Hominski, administrator of the College Preparation and Career Program, said the program will focus on “top priority professions” including construction, healthcare and manufacturing.

“They are really feeling the grip of the silver tsunami and the big resignation,” Khaminsky said of the industry. “Everyone needs people.”

“We are trying to build a better understanding between the two actors through collaboration and meetings … with the ultimate game in creating toolkits and templates for these businesses and industries so they can better provide work-based learning experiences in the form of touring industries. , as well as in the form of work monitoring experience, ”Khominsky continued.

Grant to fund the initiative

According to a Montgomery County spokesman, a $ 118,007 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Business Education Partnership grant will fund the year-long initiative.

After the program launches on July 1, 80 to 100 junior and senior students from Abington High Schools, Norwistown, North Penn and Upper Perkiomen may attend, according to Kendall Glouner-Zimmer, assistant director of program development at the Student Services Office.

“We start with four high schools that have provided us with letters of support saying it will benefit them,” Glouner-Zeamer said. “If we can expand further, then we would certainly like to open it up to others.”

“We want our young people, who may not have the opportunity to study at a technology school … to gain experience in construction, manufacturing, and health care,” Khaminsky said. “Because it helps our young people make more informed decisions about what they want to do when they get older.”

Finance is also part of this decision-making process, as Haminski stressed the importance of “not taking on debt in college” when pursuing another career.

“We talk about it all the time,” he said. “There’s a reason why in this country there is so much debt to colleges that is not paid for by individuals who may drop out after their first or second year of college, and that’s because maybe a reasonable decision or things aren’t where they could It may not be anyone’s fault, but I think that there is a change of thinking now, if these work learning experiences are what should happen. “

Educating educators

Teachers and other educational staff are also an important part of this program, Haminski said.

“So it’s also a big part: educating educators about what jobs there are in manufacturing and health care so they can pass it on to the young people they mentor,” he said.

The organizers are actively working to attract businesses in the area and create a network.

Khaminsky added that the grant funding covers the costs that schools may incur for transportation and staff. The grant is expected to last until mid-2023.

“It’s just good information,” Khaminsky said. “The more information young people will have to make an informed decision, the better that decision will be and the possible outcome.”

Glouner-Zemer agreed.

“Sometimes it’s not about helping students understand what they want to do, but it also helps them understand what they might want to do now,” she said. “There are times when young people make decisions about high school without having the opportunity to see this work in action.”

Job search services

The The Norristown organization generally offers resources for employment for teens ages 14 to 24 in Montgomery County, ranging from career fairs and resuming writing workshops to training.

“Your typical high school teenager, and sometimes family, they only know about those vacancies we all know: big retailers, big stores, your typical high school job or your typical elementary level job,” he said. Jones. “I think our department – our organization – can connect our students with the career options they have for different priority professions.”

Jones stressed that the opportunity for teens to explore different career options is crucial.

“Today’s work is vastly different from yesterday’s work,” Jones said. “So I think what we give to young people, their families and caregivers, breaks some stereotypes about different jobs.”

As an example, he used production, an industry that brings 2.71 trillion to the national economy. National Association of Manufacturerswhich cited figures for the fourth quarter of 2021. Workers can earn an average salary of $ 92,832 in the United States

“The world of manufacturing has changed dramatically,” Jones said. “When people (before) thought about production, they think you get dirty and your back hurts every day.

“Now they teach people to program cars, and you wear a pair of khakis all day, earn big money and work somewhere within 15-20 minutes for a trip,” he continued. “I think the partnership allows people to find out what the workforce really looks like today and what roles it entails … many of them have changed with technology or just with the times.”

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