The next generation of workforce leaders participated in the county's annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day Friday.Tenth-grade students from Walker County, Jasper City and Sumiton Christian schools had an …
The next generation of workforce leaders participated in the county's annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day Friday.
Tenth-grade students from Walker County, Jasper City and Sumiton Christian schools had an opportunity to shadow professionals in a variety of fields Friday, such as auto technology, electrical services, culinary, nursing, music, robotics, cosmetology, dentistry, real estate, municipal government and teaching.
Students also learned about careers in pharmacy, computer technology, law enforcement, firefighting, theatre, veterinary medicine, landscaping, photography, chiropractic medicine, aviation, farming, nonprofit work and much more.
On Job Shadow Day, each student was placed at a particular business, school or nonprofit in Walker County, based on their expressed career interests.
The annual event is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County and is a partnership with all schools in Walker County, Bevill State Community College and the Walker County Center of Technology (WCCT).
Chamber President Linda Lewis said she is thankful to all partners, superintendents, counselors, principals and the business community for making the event possible each year.
"Groundhog Job Shadow Day demonstrates the connection between academics and careers, exciting students to learn by making their class work more relevant," Lewis said. "It builds community partnerships between schools and businesses that enhance the educational experience of all students and introduces students to the requirements of professions and industries to help them prepare to join the workforce."
Shawna McCullar, career coach for Walker County and Jasper City Schools, helps plan the Job Shadow Day each year, which takes hundreds of hours to coordinate, since students travel all over the county to learn career skills at various locations.
"We're so thankful for the Chamber and the businesses for making this possible for the students," McCullar said. "Our kids are getting these real-life experiences. I think it's a beautiful thing. I don't think many people do it on the level that the Chamber does it here."
Chris McCullar, director of WCCT, spoke highly of Shawna McCullar and her dedication to making each year's Job Shadow Day a success.
"Nobody's got any idea what all she's put together, and the counselors from the high schools," he said. "She has worked tirelessly and is the catalyst that drives this awesome event. The logistics and planning involved in making this happen and getting students in their first or second choice is a monstrous undertaking."
He also expressed appreciation to the chamber and over 40 entities that hosted students Friday.
In addition to the help of partners and the chamber, staff from various schools participate in the event and chaperone students to designated locations. Bus drivers are also vital in the effort, with over 15 buses transporting students.
Over 500 Walker County 10th-graders took part in this year's Job Shadow Day, and thousands of students across the United States also had shadowing experiences in the workforce Friday.
Walker County has participated in Job Shadow Day since 1998.