Beth Brown, Principal at Frontier High School, participated in the Teacher Tours this month. In her own words...
In Washington County this past May, 669 young adults graduated from our six school districts. Some graduates will be heading to a college next month, while others will be going into a branch of the military. Still others will be entering the workforce. Where are these workforce graduates applying and what skills would help them to be better applicants for future employers?
That is what thirteen educators representing Belpre City, Fort Frye, Frontier, Marietta City and Warren wanted to find out as they set off to tour seven local businesses in Washington County on July 17th and 18th in what Building Bridges to Careers calls Teacher Tours. These businesses included Boxers Bed and Biscuits, Buckeye Hills Regional Council, The Epicenter linked with Building Bridges to Careers, Grimm Scientific, Inspire 111, Marietta Memorial Hospital and Rampp Company. Some of these businesses have been in our area since 1950, while others are just beginning to make a difference in our county. All shared about expectations of applicants and onsite training that individuals would receive once they were hired. For new business owners such as John and Amber Carter of Inspire 111, they related their pathway to ownership of a business that is thriving and the courageous decision to leave their careers to put full efforts into Inspire 111.
The connection this opportunity made between business owners and teachers gave insight to both groups. Teachers asked questions such as what type of skills do you want to see from applicants and what additional education do individuals need before applying. Answers varied, however, all were willing to provide additional training, with some paying for that to happen, and all the owners spoke of the soft skills we all need to be better at our jobs. Coming to work on time, being prepared, wanting to learn more, getting along with others, and willing to be an active part of a productive group, to name a few.
This two day learning moment also connected educators to businesses and that broadens the networking that will benefit our students. Helen Keller stated, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” In order to fully prepare our young people for their future, we need to work outside the box of our classrooms and add additional business members to our instruction so that when our young people receive their diploma they are confident for their next step.