Job shadowing day opens up possibilities for students

Published 1:05 pm Monday, May 14, 2018

Of the many gems Downtown Washington holds, none shine more brightly than its businesses and nonprofits. Stimulating activity and the economy, these establishments draw residents and tourists alike with their fine wares and valuable services.

On Thursday, a group of students from Northside, Southside and Washington high schools discovered just how many opportunities Downtown Washington holds for a young person interested in employment or volunteering.

As a part of Beaufort County Schools’ first-ever Discover Downtown Day, businesses and nonprofits opened their doors to students for a day of job shadowing and learning.

BCS Transition Coordinator Tammy Condrey, in partnership with Arts of the Pamlico and area businesses, was the one to organize the event. In her role working with students in an occupational course of study, her main focus is helping connect students bound for the job market with employment and volunteering opportunities.

“A lot of these kids are most likely going to stay in the Washington area,” Condrey said. “They’re going to enter the community college or the workforce right after graduation, so I think it’s really important for them to know what’s out there.”

In addition to spending time with area business owners, students were also exposed to volunteer opportunities at nonprofits such as Arts of the Pamlico, Ruth’s House and the American Red Cross. As these students are required to have hours either on-the-job or volunteering in order to graduate, Discover Downtown Day allowed them to make connections that may help them fulfill that requirement.

Each student was matched up with businesses and organizations that matched their interests. While students discovered new opportunities during the event, businesses likewise found potential employees. Some students even walked away from the day with prospects for new employment.

“Some of them came back and the businesses had told them, ‘If you’re interested in this job, I would like to talk to you,’” Condrey said.

Businesses and organizations participating in the event included Rough Kutts, South Market Antiques, G.W. Walker and Sons, Southern Nest, Twice as Nice, Wash and Wag, Stewart’s Jewelry Store, Grub Brothers, the American Red Cross, Ruth’s House, Lemonade Art Gallery, Edward Jones Investments, Salon 208, Little Shoppes, Secret Garden Gallery, Russell’s, Nauti Life, BMH Regional Library, Pizza Inn, Visible Changes, Cottage Junkies, Art Tyndall and Arts of the Pamlico. Students also enjoyed a tour of the courthouse and a discussion of personal finance with representatives from Wells Fargo.

“I think it was a win-win, because some of the businesses got so see that we have students who are respectful, hard working, have good ethics and can work and do a good job,” Condrey said. “Otherwise they may have never have met.”