March 13, 2012
About 800 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school students are getting a taste of professional life tomorrow (March 14) by participating in the annual citywide Job Shadow Day. CPS’s Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is collaborating with more than 140 businesses, organizations and government agencies to provide opportunities for the students to participate in one-day job shadows at business locations throughout the city.
This initiative is targeted toward CPS juniors and seniors who are a part of a career-specific course of study that complements the mandatory CPS core graduation requirements. CTE career programs are offered in about 60 high schools and emphasize disciplines such as information technology, construction, pre-engineering, broadcasting, automotive, manufacturing and health.
This citywide Job Shadow Day is part of a national initiative where students spend one school day exploring careers by shadowing a business professional and learning more about particular industries and careers. The students shadow workers at corporations, government agencies, not-for-profits, educational institutions, community businesses and professional organizations.
CTE teachers complete online individualized employability assessments and facilitate student surveys before the shadow activities take place so CTE staff can match students with available opportunities. Job shadow hosts then complete assessments on each student after the shadow day to help provide feedback which can help bolster student work-readiness skills. This feedback is shared with the teachers and administrators as a way of enhancing the CTE curriculum and with parents to reinforce development at home.
“The critical task of preparing our youth for college and career is advanced by opportunities for students to spend a day in the work place with professionals in their field of interest,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard. “We are grateful to those partners in the private and public sectors who participate in Job Shadow Day and for providing this valuable experience for our students.”
Some of the Job Shadow Day event hosts include:
- Comcast is planning to host 20 students at their studio, (1225 W. North Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Their agenda also includes a tour of departments within the facility, workshop sessions on how to succeed in careers related to the industry, and individualized résumé review sessions. Comcast contact is Maria Castro (708-237-3268).
- The Tricoci University of Beauty Culture is planning to host 25 students at two of their sites (6458 N. Sheridan and 5321 N. Harlem Avenue from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Students will learn more about careers in the cosmetology industry and the necessary skills and steps to succeed. The Tricoci contact is Katie Pohlman (708-826-7366).
- Kennedy King College is planning to host 10 students at their campus (6301 S. Halsted from
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). The agenda includes the students learning more about the broadcasting industry and the educational path for the industry. The job shadow will be a launch for the 10-week High School Jump Off program where students will be facilitating a Saturday radio show. The Kennedy King contact is Carol Ash, (773-602-5534).
- Weiss Hospital is planning to host five students in their facility (4646 N. Marine Drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Students will learn more about various occupations within the health industry that are required for a hospital to run effectively. The Weiss Hospital contact is Tim Brooks (773-564-7222).
Job shadows are an integral part of the work-based learning continuum for CPS’s CTE students, which also includes speakers, site visits and internships. Organizations interested in learning more from CTE staff about how they can help motivate these students and benefit their own community outreach initiatives can register to attend an upcoming Illinois Volunteer Network of Chicago showcase of CTE programs on April 11, or contact Maji Ford-Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.