RPSB’s Workforce Development Initiative hosts Signing Day at Peabody
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Local business and industry leaders are partnering with students at Peabody Magnet High School. The school hosted a ‘signing day’ that mimics the tone and feel of those for sports or other scholarships.
Juniors and seniors at Peabody were chosen to join more than 10 different partners who have committed to mentoring and introducing students to their industries.
“This is going to impact the community in a ridiculously positive way, and the fact that they’re getting those students ready, those expectations are gonna be clear, just straight into the workforce,” said Rose Killion, human resource generalist at Boise Cascade.
Charmelle Joffrion, eleventh-grade administrator and teacher at Peabody, said this program gives students the skills they can take with them and have the chance to join the workforce here in Cenla.
“Students are realizing that we have jobs right here locally that can use their talents,” Joffrion said. “So, this is really important for our community, for our school and for our companies.”
It is part of an innovative workforce development pilot project with the Rapides Parish School Board, to give students the opportunity to put their foot in the door to the industry before they graduate high school. Each student that goes through the program will learn more about the industry they signed up for while also getting experience that will be put to use once they graduate.
“It really betters us to know like what we will do after high school and like it gets you out of your comfort zone,” said Ke’shon Rachal, an 11th-grade student at Peabody who chose Roy O’ Martin for his mentorship.
“I think this is an important thing for my fellow students because it teaches you communication skills,” said Jakeirra Earthly, a 12th-grade student at Peabody who chose Rapides Regional Medical Center. “It teaches you about things that you never heard about in life. It teaches you that you have a chance, you have an opportunity to do things that you never thought you could do before in life.”
“I love this program,” said Lailah Belivin, an 11th-grade student a Peabody choosing AFCO for her mentorship. “It’s very beneficial for students and it gives them good opportunities.”
The next step is for industry partners to meet with their mentees once a month before students start their summer internships with their mentors and further their education.
“I think this is the missing key -- that workforce pipeline is what we call it – for our students to realize that ‘I come straight from high school, and I can find a local job right here with a career and my family can stay here,’” Joffrion said. “So that’s really important to build that workforce pipeline in education.”
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