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Students to get taste of job world

On November 21, 103 juniors at Pulaski County High School will get a taste of the local job world, thanks to the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce and it’s Youth Excel Program (YEP).
YEP is a mentoring program in which students will have the opportunity to shadow local professionals throughout a full day of work, exposing the students to the realities and requirements of jobs and careers they might be interested in.
This past Friday, a kickoff assembly was held in the Little Theatre at PCHS to introduce the approximate 170 11th grade students (all students who are enrolled in U.S. History this semester) who will be eligible to participate in the YEP.
John Neel of Gay & Neel, Inc., an engineering firm in Christiansburg, addressed the students during the assembly, and said that what will be vital to the health of Pulaski County is “keeping homegrown talent at home,” and one of the keys to doing that will be showing students all the opportunities that are available in Pulaski County.
Chuck Swain, the human resources manager at James Hardie, spoke to the students as well.
“I figured out there are really two groups here,” he said. “There are those of you who are just about to end the best days of your life. And then, there are those of you who are about to begin the best days of your life. It’s up to you to decide which group you fall in.”
Swain shared advice with the students about planning for the future, determining which route they want to take as far as college or entering the workplace, assessing and improving their skills and strengths, taking advantage of available opportunities and developing and using a network of family and friends.
As his main piece of advice for future planning, Swain said, “No amount of money will ever make you happy in a job that makes you miserable. You spend way too much time at work to do something you don’t enjoy.”
Anthony Akers, Pulaski County community activities director and a PCHS alum, also addressed the students about the importance of mentors.
“A mentor is a life coach or a teacher,” he said. “I get to do what I want to do for a living, because I listened to mentors and coaches.”
After he graduated from college, Akers worked in a factory because he heard he could make more money there, but he wasn’t happy, he said.
“Someone told me, Anthony, your gift is working with children and teenagers and young people, and I listened to them,” he said.
Akers also gave examples of people within PCHS who could be great mentors to students, such as PCHS Principal Rod Reedy, who was a coach and mentor to Akers, along with other coaches and teachers.
If not for the willingness of over 70 local businesses and government offices to donate their time, knowledge and experience, YEP would not be possible.
Students will have a wide variety of options to choose from, ranging from the office of Del. Anne B. Crockett Stark to Pulaski Community Hospital to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, and much more.
To participate, students are required to fill out a registration form, including their three top choices of professions to shadow, along with information about their work experience, skills, accomplishments and future plans.
While only students enrolled in U.S. History during the fall semester will have the opportunity to participate, Chrissi Vest, 11th grade guidance counselor, said if the YEP went well this semester, and she felt confident that it would, students in U.S. History during the spring semester would have the opportunity to participate then as well.

For more information about YEP or the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, contact 674-1991.

Students to get taste of job world

On November 21, 103 juniors at Pulaski County High School will get a taste of the local job world, thanks to the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce and it’s Youth Excel Program (YEP).
YEP is a mentoring program in which students will have the opportunity to shadow local professionals throughout a full day of work, exposing the students to the realities and requirements of jobs and careers they might be interested in.
This past Friday, a kickoff assembly was held in the Little Theatre at PCHS to introduce the approximate 170 11th grade students (all students who are enrolled in U.S. History this semester) who will be eligible to participate in the YEP.
John Neel of Gay & Neel, Inc., an engineering firm in Christiansburg, addressed the students during the assembly, and said that what will be vital to the health of Pulaski County is “keeping homegrown talent at home,” and one of the keys to doing that will be showing students all the opportunities that are available in Pulaski County.
Chuck Swain, the human resources manager at James Hardie, spoke to the students as well.
“I figured out there are really two groups here,” he said. “There are those of you who are just about to end the best days of your life. And then, there are those of you who are about to begin the best days of your life. It’s up to you to decide which group you fall in.”
Swain shared advice with the students about planning for the future, determining which route they want to take as far as college or entering the workplace, assessing and improving their skills and strengths, taking advantage of available opportunities and developing and using a network of family and friends.
As his main piece of advice for future planning, Swain said, “No amount of money will ever make you happy in a job that makes you miserable. You spend way too much time at work to do something you don’t enjoy.”
Anthony Akers, Pulaski County community activities director and a PCHS alum, also addressed the students about the importance of mentors.
“A mentor is a life coach or a teacher,” he said. “I get to do what I want to do for a living, because I listened to mentors and coaches.”
After he graduated from college, Akers worked in a factory because he heard he could make more money there, but he wasn’t happy, he said.
“Someone told me, Anthony, your gift is working with children and teenagers and young people, and I listened to them,” he said.
Akers also gave examples of people within PCHS who could be great mentors to students, such as PCHS Principal Rod Reedy, who was a coach and mentor to Akers, along with other coaches and teachers.
If not for the willingness of over 70 local businesses and government offices to donate their time, knowledge and experience, YEP would not be possible.
Students will have a wide variety of options to choose from, ranging from the office of Del. Anne B. Crockett Stark to Pulaski Community Hospital to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, and much more.
To participate, students are required to fill out a registration form, including their three top choices of professions to shadow, along with information about their work experience, skills, accomplishments and future plans.
While only students enrolled in U.S. History during the fall semester will have the opportunity to participate, Chrissi Vest, 11th grade guidance counselor, said if the YEP went well this semester, and she felt confident that it would, students in U.S. History during the spring semester would have the opportunity to participate then as well.

For more information about YEP or the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, contact 674-1991.