|Last week, we shared a brief highlight of the recent Summer Career Exploration opportunity with 75 local high school students. We received a number of comments and inquiries about the program and other workforce development efforts we are working on. As a result, we wanted to follow up with a bit more detail about Aurora Regional Pathways this week.
Working from a memorandum of understanding, the Aurora Chamber coordinated with the City of Aurora, Waubonsee Community College, and school districts East Aurora, Indian Prairie, Oswego, and West Aurora to coordinate a weeklong career exploration opportunity for nearly 75 high school students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing, health sciences, and information technology.
Junior Achievement of Chicago provided students with a half-day of soft skills and personal branding training on Monday following the kick-off and welcome from Waubonsee’s Dr. Christine Sobek.
From Tuesday through Thursday, students were treated to tours and hands-on learning experiences based on their pathway interest.
Manufacturing students visited Mitutoyo America Corporation, ASK Products/TMA, Cabot Microelectronics, International Paper, Diamond Envelope, and Caterpillar.
Health sciences students heard from Aurora Police Department Forensics Unit, Kane County Coroner, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Orchard Road Animal Hospital, Aurora Dental, Waubonsee Community College Sports Medicine, and North Aurora Fire Department EMT Service.
Information technology students were treated to presentations and projects by Rasmussen College, ByteGrid, Waubonsee Community College, Digital Alliance, and Northern Illinois University,
On Friday, the students received certificates of completion from Mayor Tom Weisner.
During the wrap-up and discussion, students shared their experiences. Based on post-assessment feedback:
92% of the participants were more interested in careers in the pathway of choice
92% benefitted from the week-long career exploration
94% were able to identify careers of interest in the pathway
98% were able to identify high school courses required for the pathway career
90% were interested in work-based learning opportunities in their pathway
Much of the activities and experiences will continue to be offered. For instance, this fall, the health sciences pathway is organizing additional work-based learning opportunities for students.
The collaborative is interested in hearing from you. Please click this link to participate in a brief survey to share your thoughts on career opportunities for our high school students. As always, if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.