NEW PHILADELPHIA (TuscoTV) - Buckeye Career Center aims to prepare local 8th graders for the shifting future of trade careers. To do so, they’re hosting their annual Career Carnival this week at the BCC in New Philadelphia.
Public Relations Coordinator Shyanne Carroll says the program is designed to help students prepare for the future as early as possible.
“We know that trades are shifting; employment is shifting. So we want them to start thinking at an early age about what they want to do, rather than waiting until they’re seniors and have no idea.”
More than seventy speakers offer students education, training, and job payment advice from fourteen career clusters as chosen by the Ohio Department of Education, says Carroll.
“We bring in 8th graders from our three counties, Tuscarawas, Carroll, and Holmes counties; they get to see Buckeye Career Center. But rather than promoting just our programs, we are actually promoting career clusters.”
Carroll says the clusters are groups of similar occupations, as decided at the state level, and students receive tickets to attend the clusters for which they’re most interested.
“They get to choose five that they’d like to visit while they’re here. They go to the lab that the cluster is in, and they learn about different careers. And they do that through a speaker.”
Multiple speakers greet students in each session with information ranging from Agriculture and Environmental Systems to Law and Public Service, Carroll says.
“We’ve got a great majority of people here from all of our different career clusters that are able to speak about their careers and also careers in that cluster that they might not have known existed,” Carroll says. “We also had representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, and they actually brought one of the plow trucks. So the students got up in that, honked the horn a few times, and see how big that plow actually is.”
Carroll mentions the BBC keeps the line-up of speakers fresh, but many past speakers desire continued contribution to the program.
“We change it up every year. But we have ones that want to come back every single year, and they’re willing to jump in and help. And they want to teach our students about their careers, and what careers are out there. And it’s great to see the participation; we really do not struggle when it comes to getting the help.”
But this is just part of a two-part process, Carroll adds. Students first meet with the Career Center in 8th grade, but follow up their sophomore year with a more-specific track and feedback about their experience.
“Our Sophomores, we have them do surveys to see what programs they were most interested in. And we have a Career Coordinator who goes out to the schools and works with the students. So she will get feedback from them as she’s out visiting.”
As a parting gift, students received mood-cups which change color when cooled, as a means to provoke conversation at home, Carroll says.
“That’s just a way for them to go home and start a conversation with their parents. We just want them —as 8th graders— to start talking, to start coming up with ideas for what they want to do in the future.”
Carroll stresses that communication is foundational to students and their parents’ plans for future education. And sooner, rather than later.
“The earlier we can talk to them about education and training —whether it’s attend a Career Center or not— or furthering their education, we think: the earlier, the better.”
Visiting school districts by day: Strasburg, Carrollton, STAR, and home-schooled students Monday; New Philadelphia and Tusky Valley on Tuesday; Conotton Valley, Garaway, and Claymont on Wednesday; Indian Valley, Newcomerstown, and Tuscarawas Central Catholic on Thursday; and Dover and Hilliard on Friday.
For more information, call Buckeye Career Center t (330) 339-2288 or visit www.buckeyecareercenter.org. The BBC is located at 545 University Dr. NE, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.