Saturday, December 24, 2016
BHS: Career Exploration Day
When a student begins their four years of high school, a career choice becomes more than picturing their image on a sports card that lists impressive statistics, more than daydreams of rescuing damsels from burning castles, or winning the national barrel racing competition every year.
Nevertheless, other than a divining rod, or flipping a coin, how does someone from a small Western Nebraska town discover the truth, the pros and cons, about what they think they may want to do for the next 40-some years, after they “grow up”?
Maybe they don’t want to go to a four-year college. Can they prepare for a successful career by going to a community college, or trade school? But what if they don’t want to ever again step foot in a school, no matter the shape or form. What are their alternatives?
A positive beginning for those answers is BHS’ annual Career Exploration Day. It’s not a display of grandeur, it’s a “just the truth, nothing but the truth” type experience.
From 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., in pre-determined classrooms, students engaged in half-hour back-and-forth banter with someone experienced in a specific career. A person willing to share experiences about their chosen livelihood, both pro and con. This year, a few of the available careers students could choose to explore were law enforcement, health management, education, auto service, physical therapist, sales, veterinarians, the Armed Forces, photography, and elder care.
To start the day, Ashley Rice Gerlock, from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, said that coming back to rural Nebraska is a definite career option. She said that manufacturing and agriculture are the two biggest industries in Nebraska and two-year degrees and trade schools open many doors of opportunity.
Continuing that train of thought during her classroom session, along with her Economic Development partner, Starr Lehl, they answered the question “why don’t large companies expand into Western Nebraska?”
“It’s simple; they don’t because of the lack of population.”
However, there’s a simple answer to increasing the population. If, after their post-secondary education, former students stick around Western Nebraska, marry and raise their families, open businesses and hire employees, pretty soon the population grows and companies expand out here.
In addition, students were urged to consult with Mrs. Rafferty, BHS guidance counselor, for feedback about their tentative career decisions.
The consensus of BHS Career Exploration Day is the State of Nebraska has jobs, all sorts of jobs. Nebraska’s population has grown to over 1.9 million, and Nebraska is one of the fastest growing States in the Union.
BHS students: You have the opportunity to continue your participation in the Western Nebraska experience, and those business representatives you talked to today prove the experience is rewarding.
Check out Nebraska.Gov for more details about jobs and careers, in a growing Nebraska.