Guest Writer: Bill Seyler, School-to-Career Chairperson
Wake County Public School System
As we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, we are finding that we are having to be more creative as a human race to make life as normal as possible. The fortunate part about our current state is that our world has fully embraced technology and it is allowing us to do things that we could not have done 10 to 15 years ago. So, there is a little bit of a silver lining to our current situation.
As a business professional and chairperson of Wake County Public School’s School-to-Career Council it is imperative that our students continue to have the business community involved with the school system. Yes, the school buildings are closed and our teaching professionals are now teaching students remotely, which is a good thing, but how does that allow our business professionals to stay engaged? Well as stated previously the creativity of people, especially educators, is quite amazing. Below is a list of some things that our teaching community and our Career Development Coordinators (CDC) and Career Academy Coordinators (CAC) are doing to allow their students to interact with business professionals.
- Business members are responding to requests for informational videos for virtual Career Fairs that are being created. This is being accomplished using a social learning software called Flipgrid. Business partners answer a series of questions and the responses are then showcased by industry sector.
- At Middle Creek High School (MCHS) Business Alliance members have reviewed some of the seniors’ resumes and provided them feedback via e-mail.
- Architectural firm LS3P is doing a Zoom meeting with Interior Design students to talk to them about the design process and how they use Rivet in their work
- Companies (like John Deere) are sending projects to share with students. These are designed around the Engineering/Design process and allow students to experience STEM learning while at home.
- Volunteers are reaching out through established organizations such as Junior Achievement with resources and virtual speaking opportunities
Some other areas where the business community can become engaged virtually are:
- Businesses can participate in life skills presentations for graduating Seniors (Signing a lease on an apartment, Credit, Taxes, Buying a car, networking, etc.)
- Local Chamber of Commerce Education Council/Committee meetings via Zoom could present an opportunity for communities to stay engaged with students in an academic environment
- Businesses can volunteer to be virtual guest speakers for specific CTE classes.e. accountants for an accounting class
- Businesses can assist students in completing projects by being virtual mentors or subject matter experts
- Businesses can share information about jobs and labor market trends to assist students with career interests virtually
So, as you see, there is still the need for the business community to stay engaged with the school system. Just because the education process had moved to a virtual platform doesn’t exclude the business community, but rather offers them more, and in some cases, a much simpler process for becoming involved. A business professional can now be engaged without leaving home, how great is that?
The School-to-Career Council members appreciate all that the business community does for our students, we just want to encourage them to continue their engagement, it is needed now more than ever. You can learn more about the School-to-Career Council here.