Students learn firsthand about career choices
Since the seventh grade, Haley Hart, a senior at Basehor-Linwood High School, has known that she wanted to work with babies.
When the opportunity came up for BLHS students to take a tour of a hospital and learn more about the healthcare field, she accepted the invitation.
“This was very informative,” she said about the tour through Cushing Memorial Hospital. “It has definitely reinforced what I wanted to do.”
On Thursday, around 40 students from BLHS, Leavenworth and Pleasant Ridge high schools attended the Leavenworth County Development Corporation’s first-ever classroom-to-career event.
Victoria Rowley, economic development coordinator for LCDC, said the goal of the program was to help build a more skilled workforce from within the county.
She said there currently are many unfilled positions in the county despite the county’s 7.2 percent unemployment rate because many of the open positions require specific skills not possessed by the unemployed.
Rowley hopes this program could help reverse the unemployment figures by making sure the county’s available workforce meets employer’s needs.
“We are providing the resources and knowledge so students know what type of education they need to enter into the workforce,” she said about the program.
This particular event focused on the healthcare industry. Students were taken on a tour of different areas of the hospital and heard presentations from hospital employees involved in women’s services, emergency services, the medical and surgical field, radiology, rehabilitation and the intensive care unit.
Students were told about the different jobs available in each of those units and the types of education needed to land those jobs.
Nancy Silverforb, BLHS counselor, along with Jarred Fuhrman, BLHS assistant principal, joined the 13 Basehor teens on the field trip.
Silverforb said this type of field trip was very beneficial to the students because it was informative and it allowed the students to start building relationships in their chosen fields.
“Now they actually know and have met someone in the field, which they want to study,” Silverforb said.
To make it easier on the schools, Cushing Memorial Hospital paid to bus the kids from their schools to the hospital and paid for their lunch.
Ron Baker, the hospital’s CEO, said he was glad to do it because the healthcare industry needs as many bright young people as it can get.
He said the future healthcare industry would look much different and have many jobs that don’t even exist yet that will need to be filled with the next generation of healthcare workers.
LCDC is planning another classroom-to-career event for the information technology field and manufacturing fields for 2010. Rowley said she hopes to get more participation from the schools, which attended, and from Lansing and Tonganoxie high schools, which didn’t send any students.
“Young educated workers are a key contributor to a community's economic activity and a key indicator of a community's future,” Rowley wrote in an e-mail Thursday. “We are excited to grow the Classroom-to-Career program for Leavenworth County.”
THS principal Jamie Carlisle said he regrts that THS students didn’t attend the first event, but looks forward to working with LCDC in the future.