Another school year is upon us which means another year of School-to-Work (STW) – a program coordinated by the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development and Ord Public Schools.
STW engages Ord High School seniors in local businesses, offering them real-world insights about industries they may be interested in and deeper connections with their community.
The program benefits local businesses as well. STW students are working hands-on in businesses offering increased workforce during the semester. The program also gives businesses the opportunity to foster relationships with local students who may be interested in returning to the community and working with a local business full-time.
The School-to-Work program has produced powerful outcomes in past years.
Here’s what local businesses had to say…
“This company has job openings now and then, so it is nice to be able to train some young people about our industry, to create a labor pool of knowledgeable help.” – Petska Fur
“VCHS employees and students have had the opportunity to establish strong mentoring relationships. It has provided VCHS with an excellent opportunity to share healthcare opportunities and importance with the youth of our community.” – Valley County Health System
“We appreciate the opportunity to provide this service to our local students.” – Stowell, Geweke & Piskorski, P.C., L.L.O.
“The students have a good understanding of computer concepts and programs which is a benefit to our business. We have in the past picked up valuable info from the students. It is always good to be in touch with possible future employees.” – MWB Broadcasting
“We are hoping to sponsor one of these kids while they are in college. Maybe someday one will want to start a career in Ord. We would be willing to help with that.” – Titan Machinery
“School-to-Work has been positive for our clinic as it has led some students to apply for after school employment. I also believe that it opened some eyes in certain students as to whether or not they truly wanted to be veterinarians. We’ve had one student who loved working here enough to go on and become a vet and others who went on to become vet techs which are both challenging and rewarding careers.” – Ord Vet Clinic
Students recognize the powerful impacts of the program as well.
Here’s what 2018 OHS graduates had to say…
“The most valuable outcome of my School-to-Work experience was learning information that I will actually need in my career field. I really liked being able to engage with business owners and professionals in my local business community.” – Jessica Boyce, School-to-Work with Nancy Puckett, LMHP
“I learned a lot of new skills I can use the rest of my life. My STW experience has helped me make up my mind on what I am going to go to college for. I am sure I will remain in Valley County to pursue my career decision in the future.” – Kasey Hornickel, School-to-Work at Lange Welding
“The most valuable thing I got was I got to talk to a lot of different people and it helped with my communication skills. I thought it was pretty nice to be engaged with a local business, because I got to see a lot of people that I knew and there were a lot of people that came from different counties.” – Jacob Lech, School-to-Work at the Ord Vet Clinic
“The most valuable outcome of my STW experience was being able to learn about the things that I wanted to know about and figure out if it was the right job for me or not. My STW experience has influenced my career decision a lot. I think this is something I want to continue doing in the future. Engaging with business leaders and professionals in the area was a really enjoyable experience. I was able to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t have met.” – James Masin, School-to-Work at MWB Broadcasting
If I do decide to continue this career path, I have gained some skills that I did not have before. Even if it was just small things I learned, like how to use a copy machine, I still learned a lot.” – Esmerelda Vera, School-to-Work at Stowell, Geweke & Piskorski, P.C., L.L.O.
“It was a very good experience and helped me get a better perspective on what I need to do.” – Barrett Boden, School-to-Work at Kruml Law Office
“I understood some of the business parts of the job but I had no idea the extent of it all. I learned a lot in this class and would highly recommend it to most high school students.” – Joe Psota, School-to-Work at Titan Machinery
“[Titan Machinery] showed me many things I did not know beforehand. I could see myself returning to Ord and working up at Titan. They have one of the nicest shops I have ever seen.” – John Moser, School-to-Work at Titan Machinery
Interested in participating?
School-to-Work matches are based on student interests and desired career paths as well as local business’ willingness to participate. If your business would like to be a part of the STW program for the Fall 2018 and/or Spring 2019 semester, contact Kristina at the Ord Area Chamber & VCED office at (308) 728-7875.