Students prepare for future with Career Discovery Day

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

On Wednesday more than 3,500 eighth

grade students took part in a career program to learn about high-demand

positions and

interact with professionals. The Career Discovery Day, sponsored

by the SWLA Economic Development Alliance and several local

businesses, welcomed students from Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis,

Allen and Beauregard Parishes to browse jobs booths and

talk to professionals.

The event, held at the Lake Charles

Civic Center, was geared toward students who are looking into field that

requires a certification

or two year degree. From 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. students were

grouped together to spend one hour visiting the booths which

consisted of over 40 different demonstrations.

“Our effort here is to show these kids these different careers that don’t require a four year college degree,” said Chairman

Bob Smith. “Right now with all these upcoming construction jobs and all this industry expansion we need workers really bad

so these kids are going to get an idea that there is an alternative to going to a four year college.”

The third annual event focused not only

on careers that can be achieved in less than four years but that are

also high-paying

as well. Some of the jobs included in the program were law

enforcement, nursing and cosmetology where professionals in these

fields were on-hand to answer any questions.

Trevian Tippy, an eighth-grader from Ray D. Molo Middle School, said he was interested in the paramedic booth but was focused

on welding because his grandfather welds.

“I like everything about this; it helps you learn more stuff about the jobs here and also if you need to ask some questions

you can go to any booth,” said eighth-grader Amy Rowell.

Theresa Bourque, a volunteer promoting process technology at Sowela’s booth, said the career day is important for students

so they can get a head start on thinking about a career. She said a benefit of a technical career was that students could

receive their degree in two years enabling then to quickly move into the actual field.

Different from the last two years was

the incorporation of a session for tenth graders. Director of Quality

and Training for

PPG Industries Tom Hatfield said bringing in tenth graders is

important since they are only a year and a half away from moving

into a career. He said they want to focus on student who know they

don’t want to go to a four year college but still do not

have an exact idea for what they want to do in the future.

“I think it’s going much better than it

has in the last two years—I see both from the presenters and the

students that there’s

much more interaction,” said Hatfield. “For these eighth graders

we’re just planting a seed to think about these opportunities;

the tenth graders, they’re a year and a half away from getting

into a career. We’re hoping this really grows and we can expand

on that next year.”