Rocky Grove High School held its sixth annual Search & Work Day event for the Class of 2017 last week at the high school.
The event is part of the drive for career readiness skills for all students by having students participate in mock interviews with local business volunteers.
“This event has been a great success over the past few years, and our partnerships with our local businesses have been magnified by this event,” Valley Grove School District superintendent Jeff Clark said. “The business support has been truly amazing. Their expertise and experience in the hiring process that they share with our students on that day is priceless.”
Clark said the district now has a School to Industry Group that meets a few times a year at Venango Technology Center to continue aligning the school preparation programs of all the local districts with the human resource needs of local businesses.
“It is great to see all parties coming together to move our community forward economically,” Clark said.
The teachers, especially the senior English and social studies teachers, prep the students as part of the school’s career preparation program by researching about the local businesses and preparing applications for employment and resumes and correspondence notes.
Then the teachers brought in presenters from Clarion University and Laurel Technical Institute to discuss job readiness skills, interview etiquette and presenting yourself to the employer in terms of appearance and a work portfolio.
“The connection of classroom activities to the real world setting with the business partners is what makes this event so valuable,” guidance counselor Carrie Beightol said. “This event immediately changes our seniors as they shift perspective from a student in school to an adult planning to enter the real world.”
The day begins with a luncheon for the business leaders who volunteer, and then each business conducts four interview sessions with students. In the end, the businesses provide feedback on strengths and weaknesses and help coach the students on improvement.
“The support of our students from the business community has been great,” transition coordinator Jessica Vogan said. “This event has grown each year and now has been copied in six other local school districts. We had another school come this year to learn how to pilot the program in their district,” Vogan added.
District officials said the school appreciated having more than 70 community participants this year and is always looking for more employers willing to partner to provide students with experiences in career planning.
A few ideas for future career exploration events include field trips for elementary and middle school students, class presentations and of course helping with the mock interview day next year which will be Oct. 26, 2017.
Anyone interested in signing up can contact the school at 437-3759 and ask to speak with Vogan or principal Matt LaVerde.