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Students get real workplace knowledge

Program shows students real work environments

Posted: September 19, 2015 - 11:20pm  |  Updated: September 21, 2015 - 9:50am
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QuadGraphics human resources manager Beth Pence gave a tour of the printing plant to a group of students interested in broadcast, graphic design and marketing jobs.   Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
QuadGraphics human resources manager Beth Pence gave a tour of the printing plant to a group of students interested in broadcast, graphic design and marketing jobs.

 

Some Columbia County high school students got a taste of the workforce they hope to one day enter thanks to the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber led 75 Career Pathway students on tours of business related to their field of study as part of the second annual Students in Business program.

Chamber Vice President Heath Taylor said the program is designed to help students be ready to jump the gap between education and real work environments and be ready to take over for a largely retiring workforce.
“Students get out in the workplace and get first-hand (knowledge about) what expectations are as far as salary requirements, educational requirements to help them make really educated decisions as to their future employment,” Taylor said. “We hope they see things that make them want to stay here and work.”

Students studying construction, engineering and agriculture visited businesses including Textron in Augusta, Georgia Iron Works and John Deere in Grovetown. A group of 14 broadcast, graphic design and marketing students visited Mass Media Marketing and QuadGraphics in Martinez.

“They get to actually see it,” Grovetown assistant principal Casey Dees said of the students ideas of what the reality of a workplace is as opposed to what they learn about a workplace.

Though QuadGraphics is known to be a printer and bindery, the students learned that in addition to press operators and line workers, the manufacturer employes chemical engineers, human resources staff and skilled labor such as electricians, machinists and other maintenance personnel.

“Everyone is going to college and college isn’t your only option,” QuadGraphics human resources manager Beth Pence said before leading the students on a tour of the large facility. She explained plant operations and led them through the imaging room, where images are engraved onto copper plates. And in the press room, the students saw how the images on those plates is used on the three-story press to print a variety of magazines, retail advertisements, books and other printed items. They watched as the printed materials were bound, and prepared for shipping in the bindery.
Pence explained how hiring works at the facility including the need for skilled labor and popular apprenticeship and trainee programs.

She also encouraged the teens to always check into potential employers online and study the job descriptions and required skills of available positions.

“That will educate you,” Pence said. “I think you’ll be surprised what’s out there.”

Taylor said the Career Pathways students were required to write an essay before leaving on the field trip.

“They had to write a one-page essay telling us what they thought their expectations were about salaries, work conditions, education requirements,” Taylor said. “Upon returning, they have to write a follow-up essay.”

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Comments (2)

CarolLily

That is basically what we

That is basically what we need these days because from the growing number of unemployed young generation that is a major downfall in our society. - Dennis Wong YOR Health

CarolLily

It's important enough to deal

It's important enough to deal with what is actually starting to be the major cause of everything we need to value as much. - Dennis Wong YOR Health