Pam Anderson, who chairs the Chamber's Edu-cation Development Comm-ittee, is director of outreach for A Circle of Ten, Inc., a nonprofit agency that trains and supports leaders to multiply partnerships impacting economic development.
This year, two JHS students shadowed the group's 205 E. Commerce office, while another three were down the hallway from C-10, partnering with David Anderson Consulting.
“We've been involved since the inception of the program, and take part in it every year,” Anderson said.
“It's a program that's been going on throughout the country, but I think Jacksonville is one of the few communities who actively do it – and I think that's because we make it such a big deal, that we've kept it active.”
The job shadow program started long before she got involved in the Chamber, as a way of allowing “kids to experience the job and just get a taste of what what it was like,” she said.
“It's well-supported by the school district from the superintendent to the principal and counselors at the high school.”
“From the school side, it's a winning opportunity for the students because it's definitely a day of learning out of the norm for them and it's a great opportunity for them to get out into the community and see what the real world is like,” she said.
“It's a wonderful thing that our Chamber is willing to do for our students, because it takes a lot of time and coordination on their part to give an opportunity to our students that we can't give them in the classroom, so it's very much appreciated.”
As part of Thursday's events for JHS students, the Chamber also hosted a luncheon catered by Bain Enterprises, along with a college fair.
Institutions participating this year included Jackson-ville College, Baptist Missionary Association Seminary of Jacksonville, Carthage's Panola College, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Tyler's Texas College and Tyler Junior College.
Aaron Swink, a local native now serving as an associate attorney with Moak & Kesler of Jacksonville, was guest speaker at the luncheon.
“Of all the things we do, this is one of my favorite events,” Anderson said.
“I love it, this is so cool, because kids are getting an opportunity they might not have gotten otherwise.
“There are a lot of things they take away from the program, and we're hoping that they're enjoying themselves while they're learning,” she said.