Teaching real life
Deb Hadachek – Belleville Telescope Editor
I had an interesting conversation with my son with other night about what Republic County Economic Development and local businesses do to introduce local high school and college students to job opportunities in the area.
This is a chicken-or-egg question, but one that should be on the forefront of minds of development officials and business owners alike. I believe more local businesses offer internships and chances to shadow in different career options than ever before. We could all do a better job of promoting these opportunities. Often it’s a matter of word of mouth, or who you know, that slips students into these positions. For the past several years the Telescope has tried to identify students interested in journalism through the school system. We also offer to help school staff train students on the software and design programs we use, which are fairly standard in our industry.
This gives us a chance to not only give students practical experience in journalism, but also offer advice for the kinds of training we think would benefit their careers and our business in the future. Newspapers, for instance, will need more expertise in electronic and social media skills now and in coming years. I often encourage college students to major in a field other than journalism to broaden their prospects. Nearly every job field needs communication experts with knowledge in that field.
Our experience applies whether students plan to pursue careers in health care, agriculture, law, engineering, financial planning, plumbing, construction, food service, or education. Real life jobs give students a realistic background in the workforce–every job has its fulfilling moments, its challenges, and unglamorous duties that still need to be done for a business to make money.
The payback for us is that some of these students will see the opportunities for fulfilling careers available right here in Republic County.
Others will take the values and work ethic and innovation they learn here and be able to tell our story to other parts of our world.
Contact Luke Mahin at RCED for more resources for starting an internship program at your business – 785-374-3047.