A group of Kake students visited the Juneau Empire Wednesday afternoon as part of the All Alaska Academy, a program of SERRC that helps secondary students explore different career options.
The week-long program brought a group of Kake middle and high school students to Juneau and included education on employer expectations, career options, education options, job seeking skills and a day of putting it all together, including mock interviews.
Students visited different businesses and met with different community leaders to learn about jobs in fields from journalism to medical care, a career with the U.S. Coast Guard to fisheries, mining to police service to banking and hospitality and service. The students also got to visit the University of Alaska Southeast Auke Bay campus and the downtown Bill Ray Center.
The students that visited the Empire were part of the younger group and, when asked what they thought they would do for a career, were mostly uncertain. There were two engineers and a lot of question marks.
Instructor Chris Carte said some of the older students were job shadowing, while the younger students were getting a broader view of the many career options Juneau has to offer.
Students got a chance to see how a newspaper runs, from ad sales and design to newsroom and the ever exciting press room. Unfortunately nothing was running, but the towering machines are fascinating even standing still.
Managing Editor John Moses conducted the tour, candidly describing the changes the industry has gone through over the course of his career. The tour also included pointing out the art collection the Empire displays, including original works by many celebrated Alaska artists.
Some apt questions were asked about what kind of education is required for different jobs, whether employees are paid hourly or on salary, and about what kinds of skills are important for different jobs.
The students spend much of their days learning and job shadowing, but it’s also an opportunity for students to spend time in a larger, more urban community than that they have grown up in so far. The students pick up skills that can be taken for granted like riding public transportation, plus they get to make use of recreational facilities like The Rock Dump, Treadwell Arena and the Augustus Brown Pool.
“This is Career Connections’ second session this year and, in total, over 40 students from Chatham, Lower Yukon, Bering Strait and Kake School Districts have attended. In addition to the job shadowing that was so helpful, they also learned about education, training, and job-seeking skills that they didn’t receive in their districts.” Aurah Landau of SERRC said of the program.
The Career Connections program, and the Junior Career Connections, which brought the students from Kake to the Empire, provide students with real-world experience at a variety of work sites and offers job-shadowing and career exploration opportunities for secondary students.
The All Alaska Academy program also offers the Junior Alaska Close Up, Alaska Close Up, and the option for a government internship for Alaska Close Up alumni in 11th or 12th grade. Programs provide students with hands-on experience in Alaska’s capitol to learn how the legislative, executive, and judicial branches work together to govern our state.
Programs like Career Connections are funded in part by donations from Alaska businesses. Landau said Wells Fargo helped make this trip possible.
For more information about All Alaska Academy and other educational programs offered by SERRC, visit www.serrc.org.