Grafton High students get close-up exposure to career opportunities
Some 600 Grafton students have a more intimate knowledge of life in the working world thanks to Grafton High School’s Career Field Trip Day.
Coordinated by the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, students were dispatched on a fleet of buses Friday, March 18, to job sites throughout Ozaukee County.
During the afternoon, each student got a taste of two or three different career paths.
Most students were shuttled to manufacturing sites such as Frank Mayer & Associates, Digital Edge of Grafton, Waukesha Metal Products, Blanking/Framing Systems and John Crane Engineered Bearings, as well as Aurora Medical Center, Hampton Inn and Suites, Portal Inc., Roden Echo Valley Farm, the Meijer store and Schuckit & Oleniczak Orthodontics.
Also on the job-focused road trips were the Grafton Fire Station, Grafton Village Hall and the Mequon campus of Milwaukee Area Technical College.
It took 20 buses to get the students to the various locations and 40 faculty members to keep them on task.
Some students remained at the school and met with information technology experts from the Grafton School District, financial specialists from U.S. Bank and a host of other business management and administrative professionals.
“Our goal for this program is to try and expose students to careers and education options,” Grafton Chamber Executive Director Pam King said.
“We believe that the best way to help students determine their career path is to take them to actual job sites and provide them with opportunities to meet and talk with career professionals. It is important for them to see careers in action.”
King said students were surveyed in advance to determine their vocational preferences.
“We attempted to place them at locations that gave them a chance to learn more about the jobs most related to their interests,” she said.
Life beyond the workplace was also given attention, as students heard a presentation on the importance of volunteerism by Tom “Mel” Stanton, the host of the annual Mel’s Pig Roast fundraising bash.
The job sites were selected to dovetail with the 16 Career Clusters identified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Pathways to College and Career Readiness program.
Those clusters include agriculture, food and natural resources; architecture and construction; arts, audio visual technology and communications; business management and administration; education and training; finance; government and public administration; health sciences; hospitality and tourism; human services; information technology; law, public safety, corrections and security; manufacturing; marketing; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and transportation, distribution and logistics.
Grants from U.S. Bank and the Grafton Education Association helped finance the career exploration day. A similar day was held in 2014.
For the past three years, the Chamber has also organized an in-school career exposition every fall. That event attracts more than 30 area businesses.
EDUCATORS AND BUSINESS LEADERS gathered in front of Grafton High School Friday, March 18, for the school’s Career Exploration Day. Acknowledging the financial support for the day from U.S. Bank were (from left) Associate Principal Kevin Deering, Steve SaLoutos and John Salemi of U.S. Bank, Mike Cibulka of the Grafton Education Foundation, Grafton High senior Jarred Kettenhoven, School Supt. Mel Lightner, junior Erin Hogan, Grafton Chamber President Rick Novotny, senior Lilly Kaplan, Principal Scott Mantei and senior Grady Bauer. Photo by Sam Arendt