130 High School Students Participate in Career Pathway Day
On Monday, April 24, Grays Harbor Youth Works, Greater Grays Harbor, Inc., Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, and Grays Harbor College worked together to provide North Beach and Lake Quinault High School students with participating in a Career Pathway Day,
Pacific Northwest Workforce Development Council (PNWDC) awarded two high impact grants to two organizations in each county under their jurisdiction. Those counties are Grays Harbor, Mason, Lewis, Thurston, and Pacific. The two organizations awarded in Grays Harbor were Coastal Community Action Program and Grays Harbor Youth Works. Coastal Community Action Program’s grant focused on employment for low income families. Grants from Pacific Northwest Workforce Development Council (PNWDC) and Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. provided Grays Harbor Youth Works Board with the funds to work with rural schools identified by PNWDC serving fewer than 900 students and with diverse populations. North Beach and Lake Quinault High Schools were identified by PNWDC in our county.
Grays Harbor Youth Works mission is to engage and transform Grays Harbor Youth through internships with businesses, nonprofits, and public sector organizations, throughout the county, and encourage them to pursue post-secondary and livable wage jobs. Since 2013, they have placed 100 students with internships county-wide. Seventy percent of those students were seniors where 60% did choose post-secondary education. Thirty of these interns were juniors where six returned in their senior year to repeat the experience; Rachel Wiechelman was one of those who returned. Rachel attended Aberdeen High School and was assigned to Domestic Violence Center of Grays Harbor. As a senior, she was assigned to Department of Public Health and Human Services. Rachel said, “Both experiences inspired me to follow a career in Health Education.” Today she is attending Grays Harbor College and has a place on Grays Harbor Youth Works Board.
The Career Pathway Day began at Grays Harbor College with two speakers: Matt Holder from the Grays Harbor IT Department and Tracey Turcotte, the Youth Apprenticeship Manager for AJAC . Both spoke about today’s industry, what types of jobs are available in each area, and what it takes to acquire those positions. Tracey’s presentation focused on the value of internships and apprenticeships and outlined the benefits of participation in both.
After the presentations, the students were taken on tours of the industries they were interested in learning more about, as they indicated on their permission slip. The participating companies were Grays Harbor PUD, Sierra Pacific, Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, and Hesco Armor, LLC. These companies then provide the students with promotional materials about their organization, historical perspective, types of positions in their company, and the required skills, experience, and education needed to obtain these jobs. These five companies then provided the students with a tour of the facility and allowed the students to ask questions about their respective industry.
A special thank you is in order to Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and Greater Grays Harbor Inc, for sponsoring day; the businesses and organizations that opened their doors to our area youth: Hesco Armor, Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Sierra Pacific, Grays Harbor PUD, and Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority.