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NC students getting a look at work with appeal

Posted February 27, 2012

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— More than 25,000 middle-school students in every North Carolina county are getting a taste of the working life.

The goal of the Students@Work Week initiative starting that starts Monday is for businesses to help students see opportunities that appeal to them in the workplace and to offer new goals for graduation.

"The more chances we have to mentor to our students in the workplace, the more likely we are to develop an interest in continuing their education," said Dale Whitworth, chairman of the the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, which is supporting the initiative.

The program targets adolescents because middle school is a crucial time for dropout prevention.

"Dropping out doesn't just limit a young person's options. It affects the economic prosperity of our state," said First Gentleman Bob Eaves.

Participating students will get a chance to learn firsthand about careers in healthcare, the legal system, the tourism industry, banking, biotechnology, energy production and how to refurbish a computer. They will participate in job shadowing and mentoring programs at more than 125 businesses.

"Exploring careers through job shadowing is a way for students to see that they can have a bright future and that education is the key to that future," Eaves said.

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  • geosol Feb 27, 2012

    Of course, if we just ignore that ignorant little right wingers' comments on this story and focus on the FACTS about it, this is a wonderful program that should be extended to be available to more students in North Carolina.

  • Relic Feb 27, 2012

    How about this? How about government reducing the grip it has on job development so that when these kids get to be between 18 and 20 there will actually be part-time jobs out there with businesses and small businesses to allow them to actually work their way through college and reduce their personal debt while gaining experience? I know of a great number of high school and college kids in the region that would love to get ANY experience that would help them land a simple part-time job. However, all the rules and restrictions that businesses have to cowtow to reduce their desire to allow these young people to work.

  • Relic Feb 27, 2012

    @babbleon "If you are referring to the Occupy movement, they are not looking for free govt handouts. They want equal opportunities, not equal results."
    Actually they are asking for "free govt handouts" through "economic equity" and "wealth distribution". Who else but the federal government would be able to force "equity" and "distribution" but through programs that would identify those that need the "equal opportunities". If you get something for nothing then it is "free" to you. As to "equal opportunities" I fail to see where any of their proposals covers that nebulous topic. "Equal opportunity" has been the law of the land for many years. What I have seen from the "Occupy" movement is the desire for persons that have "too much" to give money to those that "don't have enough". Of course, that sounds a great deal like what the revolutionists in China wanted prior to the Communist Revolution (see "The Good Earth" for a fictionalized account).

  • babbleon Feb 27, 2012

    professors in higher education pounding the idea of the Liberal Utopia into their students' heads where they don't have to work and expect everything to simply be given to them by the government. citizensoldier16

    That does not match my experience at the colleges I attended. Hard work was required to get good grades, and no one pretended you would get something for nothing. TAANSTAFL was popular.

    As a bonus, the skills I learned in critical thinking and analysis have been helpful throughout my career.

    If you are referring to the Occupy movement, they are not looking for free govt handouts. They want equal opportunities, not equal results.

  • citizensoldier16 Feb 27, 2012

    Its amazing how hypocritical our education system is. We have programs like this telling students to work hard, yet we have professors in higher education pounding the idea of the Liberal Utopia into their students' heads where they don't have to work and expect everything to simply be given to them by the government. THIS is why we need education reform...and simply pouring more money into it as Obama suggests is only adding gasoline to the fire.

  • lalau0518 Feb 27, 2012

    I think this is a WONDERFUL idea and can NOT wait for my boys' to do this! I DID have opportunities in my Junior & Senior years to "shadow" people and it kept me motivated. I WANTED to get and go to school!! I am glad to see that education is still important!