Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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February 8, 2013

A Day In The Life: 74 participate in Job Shadow program

JACKSONVILLE — The annual Job Shadow Day sponsored by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce gives local high school students a brief peek into a profession they may want to pursue or are even just curious about, but more importantly, it allows them an opportunity to “learn outside the norm,” said school counselor Jan Lewis.

“It's definitely one of the best tools we have on campus, because it's an extremely realistic way for students to get a firsthand look at what a job might entail,” she said, adding, “it's way beyond the pages of a book.”

The Chamber has hosted the event since 2004, drawing 74 high school juniors and seniors this year along with a number of businesses, said Chamber coordinator Jenifer Newburn.

“A lot of the businesses are pretty excited (to be part of the program), especially the hospitals and larger businesses in town,” who often ask to be included the following year, she said.

The most commonly requested type of job to shadow? Those in the health industry, the women said.

“For this year's group, it was medical (fields, followed by) cosmetology, banking and accounting, then real estate,” Newburn said. “We haven't had too many (unusual) interests, though in the past, we've had people interested in going to the funeral home. Cosmetology was a big (interest) this year.”

“I would say that (health industry jobs) had far outweighed other interests,” Lewis said, although “the fire department and the police department are always a favorite.”

Laughing, she added, “This morning I went around to the businesses to check on (students) and at the fire department, they were very excited because a call had come in.”

On average, Newburn said, four or five students are matched to a business, who this year included: A Circle of Ten, All Smiles, Animal Medical Clinic, Austin Bank, Boogie Butt Productions, Cherokee Real Estate Co., Darr Chiropractic, David Anderson Consulting, ETMC – Jacksonville, Eye Care and Associates of East Texas, Family First of Jacksonville, Hatchett & Thompson, the Jacksonville Fire Department, the Jacksonville Police Department, Kut & Kurl, Merle Norman Studio of Jacksonville, Miles Barber Shop, Piney Woods Glass and Mirror, Rainbow's End, Senior Care, Texas National Bank, Trinity Mother Frances – Jacksonville, West Side Elementary, Jacksonville Middle School and the Jacksonville Daily Progress.

“Some businesses take one student, but others, like ETMC had 10, while Mother Frances took eight,” she said.

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