By CHERIL VERNON
In the fall, the Palestine Area of Chamber of Commerce kicked off its Job Shadowing program, partnering with Palestine Independent School District.
The program proved to be a success for both the students and participating employers — so much that the program will kick off again this spring.
The program is under the direction of chamber board members Darcy Hall of Workco Staffing Service and Andrew Gregory of Ben E. Keith. It is supported by a committee of six business professionals: Paul Martine of Palestine Air & Heat, Lesa Wells of Palestine Regional Medical Center, Kathy Redden of Workco Staffing Service, Susie Streb of City of Palestine and Cody Tunstall of Palestine ISD.
“The purpose behind job shadowing is to allow a high school junior or senior the opportunity to spend time in the workplace with a person who has a job that is of interest to the student,” Hall said. “The program helps students to identify possible career interests and gain awareness of the academic, technical and personal skills required by particular jobs.”
Participating businesses help provide the foundation for a qualified and motivated applicant pool, Hall said.
“It boosts morale for employees to share their experience with others, and communicates to students the high level of skills, both academic and technical, required by particular jobs,” Hall continued.
“I think it’s good to get kids out there in the real world and see what they are interested in, to see what they want to do when they are finished with high school,” Martine told the Herald-Press Wednesday. “I had one student last year for the job shadowing day. He learned a lot of what goes on in my job and basically watched the installation of a system I was putting in.”
Martine said it is especially helpful to local students who want to stay in their hometown to see what jobs are available.
PRMC supports the job shadowing program by having a representative on the Job Shadow Committee for planning and development of the program and by sponsoring job shadowing opportunities for the students.
In fact, PRMC made 10 opportunities available to 40 students who shadowed in the fall, according to PRMC Marketing Director Lesa Wells. The opportunities included behavioral health, clinical information, laboratory and nursing — based on student interest.
“We are pleased that we were able to offer 25 percent of the student placement,” Wells said. “This is a very positive contribution to education and the community. We look forward to participating in the program again this spring.”
Participating businesses include: Annie’s Guest Houses; Attorney Daniel Dean; Christian Heritage Academy; City of Palestine (all departments); Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility; Cooper & Cooper Plumbing; Diamond B Ranch; East Texas Area Boy Scout Council; East Texas Programming/Shop Palestine First; Engledow Farm & Ranch Supply Co.; Forrest Westmoreland, DDS; Goolsby Insurance Agency; Gold Eye Clinic; Hampton Inn & Suites; Headwaters Construction Materials; Henson Electric; Herrington & Langley Restorative & Implant DDS; J.F. Fontaine Associates; Jerry Cooper Plumbing; Law Offices of Jim Parsons; Palestine Economic Development Corp.; Palestine Realty; Palestine Regional Medical Center; Prosperity Bank; Ramirez Welding; Red Hat Rentals; Southwest Hills Vet Clinic; Willow Creek Chiropractic & Wellness; Workco Staffing Service; YMCA; Sycamore Medical Clinic; and Mike Cline, forester.
Employers interested in participating in the job shadowing program can email Hall at email@example.com or call 903-729-5545 for more information on this program.