Alternative high school takes students to the workforce

Once or twice a year, all the students at Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School take their education from the classroom to the working world.


It’ll be a career day of sorts for approximately 120 students next Friday when groups of seven to 10 high schoolers venture out to various job sites around Juneau, said Kristi Smith, the career guide for YDHS and the program’s main coordinator.

“We really like seeing kids getting excited about opportunities for them after high school,” Smith said. “And also for our employers to see that these students are our up-and-coming youth.”

Students will be given a list of job sites participating in the program and will be asked to list their top three preferences. As much as possible, students will get one of their top three choices for their job visit, Smith said.

“What kinds of opportunities does Juneau have just out of high school?” is a question this program seeks to answer, Smith said.

“They really get an idea what these job sites are all about,” she added.

Some of the possible opportunities students will be able to explore next week include Costco, Home Depot, SEARHC, Capital City Fire and Rescue, Bartlett Regional Hospital and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They will be able to question some plumbers and pipe-fitters, Smith said.

“I’m really looking for places they really don’t know much about,” Smith said.

One of the main goals is helping students realize what sorts of training or additional schooling is necessary in some of the career fields, she added.

“It’s preparing them for post-high school,” Smith said. “It’s about getting them out and about in the community — it’s really cool.”

In addition to post-secondary opportunities, the program is also designed to help students be able to find employment while they finish up their education.

So far, six job sites have been confirmed for Friday, and the school is waiting to hear back from several others.

• Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at Follow him on Twitter at


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