In early February around Bladen County, the groundhog is not the only one looking for a shadow. Each year Bladen County Schools’ Career and Technical Education Department and Bladen County 4-H partner to bring the annual Eighth-Grade Job Shadow Day to life.
This year’s event was on Feb. 4 and about 96 youth qualified to participate in this annual event.
To be considered, eighth-graders wrote essays about their future career and why they would like to work in that field. Each middle school in Bladen County can recommend up to twenty students based on their submissions. Then, the planning committee contacted businesses and professionals in our community to provide a couple of hours of shadowing on the job experience for the youth.
Students visited the hospital, retail stores, veterinarian’s office, the N.C. Department of Transportation and many others. The day even offered a virtual job shadow experience for one of the youth interested in marine biology, and a gospel recording artist and her sound person were able to set up a mini recording studio in the Extension office for the morning so that two of the eighth-graders could actually get experience recording music.
The students traveled back to the N.C. Cooperative Extension office for a luncheon and presentation. This year, Tiina Mundy from Bladen Community College provided information about what not to wear to a job interview and discussed professional dress. Then, Stacie Kinlaw, Bladen County 4-H agent presented information about soft skills to the eighth-grade students using information provided by the staff of the Bladen County NC Works Career Center.
Sup’t. Robert Taylor brought the welcome and words of encouragement and inspiration to kick off this year’s luncheon, which was sponsored by STAR Telephone.
If you would like additional information about this annual event and how you or your business could support future activities that enhance and engage our youth in career exploration, please contact Bridgette White of Bladen County Schools, planning committee chair at 910-862-4136 or Stacie Kinlaw, Bladen County 4-H agent, at 910-862-4591.