Last week was In-Demand Jobs week. This is a “statewide celebration of jobs, industries and skills that are in-demand* in Ohio”, initiated by Ohio Means Jobs. Basically, everyone around the state was encouraged to do something to highlight the week and engage students and would-be employees in demonstrations and conversations about the options available to them. Check out social media….you will find lots of coverage.
Locally, BB2C partnered with Job and Family Services, the Career Center, Washington State Community College, the Opioid Hub workforce subcommittee and 3 local manufacturers (Solvay Specialty Polymers, Miba Bearings, and Micro Machine Works) to create an experience for local freshman and sophomores. This took the form of field trips that included tours, demonstrations, and explanations of the variety of positions available at these local employers. Students learned about positions all across the educational requirements spectrum….high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree and beyond. There was a lot of encouragement from all presenters for the students to think critically about the choices being shown to them and how they fit in with their personal strengths, interests, and potential plans for the future. Thirty-one students and 5 parents/teachers attended over the two days.
These field trips provided students a first hand look at a variety of local options to consider for their future, however, there are approximately 10,000 students in Washington County alone. One of the reasons Building Bridges to Careers was founded in 2012 was to increase the number of students that received career advising and gained personal experience to help them make informed decisions. Our actual goal at the time was to “bridge the gap between education and employment for 100% of students in Washington County”. We now work with multiple counties, which is part of the reason we dropped the second half of that statement. The other reason it was dropped is that we realized that this organization alone does not have the capacity to provide experiences to 100% of students in Washington County. We need everyone else on board to do that….yes, everyone. The people we engage want to be a part of this work, they just don’t know how.
BB2C would like to thank the 100’s of local people that have stepped up and learned how to do it over the last 8 years. They have helped the local schools and students gain access to many resources (time, treasure, and talent) that are having an impact in the career development arena. Together we are making great strides and reaching more youth!