by Christina Studebaker, Workforce Development Project Manager, Door County Economic Development Corporation
Today’s world is a competitive place. Whether it’s applying to college, applying for a job, counting the number of customers a business has or counting the number of “likes” or followers someone has, we’re all trying to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the pack. The Door County Business-Education Partnership is helping students to stand out in both the college and job markets.
High school students track their GPAs, electives, extracurricular activities and volunteer hours with the goal of increasing their chances of getting into a four-year college, but it can be difficult to stand out: GPAs are numbers on a scale; the number of electives a school can offer is limited; and there is a common set of extracurricular activities available to most students.
One thing that can really help a student to stand out from the college-application crowd is on-the-job experience. Students gain knowledge, skills, judgment, maturity, responsibility and confidence through such experience, and as many people in the workforce find, every day on a job is different. So, students with on-the-job training have special knowledge and a more diverse set of experiences and skills that enhance their academic studies.
On-the-job experience also benefits students who want to pursue technical college or enter the workforce directly after high school. The bottom line is that businesses value the inevitable real-world lessons learned by those who have “been in the trenches.”
Door County Economic Development Corporation’s Business-Education Partnership works to connect local students and businesses and to provide work-based learning experiences for students in the form of behind-the-scenes job tours, job shadows, special events such as Manufacturing Days and youth apprenticeships.
Support the Door County Business-Education Partnership by volunteering to be a mentor or career coach to students, providing job-tour or field-trip opportunities at your business, and supporting student participation in on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs.