Career Connections hosts five-day training seminar

17 11th- and 12th-graders visit Juneau for job shadow experience

Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2009

A local youth career program brought several high school students to Juneau this past week for a five-day training seminar about employment opportunities in Alaska's high-growth industries.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Seventeen 11th- and 12th-grade students from the Chatham, Hoonah, Lower Yukon (Emmonak and Pilot Station) and Yakutat school districts participated in Career Connections, a job shadow experience where students chose work sites of their career field of interest.

"We hope the students have a better idea of a career direction and the education and training needed to achieve their goal," said Linda Kadrlik, director of the All-Alaska Academy, an arm of SERRC-Alaska's Educational Resource Center, which provides Career Connections and other direct student services.

Aside from first-hand employment experience, students learn how to create a polished resume, fill out an employment application, participate in job interviews and work with online tools such as AKCIS and ALEXsys to polish their job-seeking skills and find career, education and training options, Kadrlik said.

"The state of Alaska is making great efforts to educate and train our young Alaskans for the upcoming positions in Alaska's high-growth industries," she said. "As an added benefit, students from villages learn about such things as riding the bus, stoplights and ordering meals at restaurants."

Students also visited the University of Alaska Southeast campus and technology center to attend classes emphasizing career exploration and job-seeking skills.

Instructor Shannon Straight said students this year are interested in a little bit of everything. Students chose work sites ranging from the medical field, child care and health to law enforcement, waste management and theater.

"Students get exposure to different career interests, get a better understanding of what employers expect and also what skills are necessary for students looking at different career fields to be more successful," Straight said. "We teach how to get registered for ALEXsys and look at jobs in various regions in the state where some of these kids might actually come from.

Essentially, the week helps students get a sense of what the next steps will be once school is complete, Straight said.

"Waking up, getting ready for the world of work, what's important to prepare for work, what is expected once you are at work and how to be successful in managing all those little details - it gives students a great chance to prepare for the world of work," he said.

Career Connections has two more sessions scheduled for this school year: Feb. 15 to 19 and April 12 to 16. All-Alaska Academy sessions are offered to every Alaska school district, which funds its own students using school tuition. For more information, contact Linda Kadrlik at 586-6806 or

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