With 1.2 million American students dropping out of high school every year, AT&T* and Junior Achievement today, on National Job Shadow Day, announced the second year of the AT&T / JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative, including an event in Tualatin. The event is part of a multimillion dollar, multiyear job shadow program to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness.
Building on the program’s success and positive student impact, students will go back to work with AT&T employees as part of the initiative’s second year in Tualatin. The AT&T / JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative will involve students from Heritage High School who will “shadow” AT&T employees during their regular work day to see firsthand the educational background and skills they will need to succeed on the job.
“Based on the tremendous success of last year’s Job Shadow event we are committed to helping future generations by showing them the importance of staying in school,” said Adam Grzybicki, president of AT&T Oregon. “This partnership between leaders in education, business and the local schools will provide a meaningful stepping stone to Oregon and southwest Washington students.”
More than 35 students will shadow AT&T employees today from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at AT&T’s Tualatin offices on SW 72nd Avenue. Recent findings from a report evaluating students who participated in the first year of the nationwide AT&T / JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative show the program is making an impact and changing attitudes about staying in school:
- All students felt that it is important to graduate from high school, and ninety-nine percent felt confident in their ability to do so months after participating in the program.
- Eighty-nine percent of students felt that participating in Job Shadow made them realize the importance of staying in school.
- Ninety-four percent indicated that they had improved their ability to set goals as a result of Job Shadow and 90 percent reported that they utilized this skill months after the program.
- Ninety-four percent agreed that their ability to identify occupations that interest them had improved as a result of Job Shadow and ninety-two percent had researched careers that interest them months after the program.
John Hancock, president of Junior Achievement Columbia Empire, noted, “Job shadowing not only provides students with valuable firsthand workplace experience, it provides them with mentoring and role models. These experiences help prepare our young people to effectively compete with their peers from the U.S. and around the world as the global economy becomes increasingly interdependent and interconnected.”
“By working together, we can solve a problem that affects everyone, whether we’re business leaders, community leaders, educators or parents,” said Oregon State Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin.
Last year, 78 students from Heritage High School and David Douglas High School participated in the AT&T / JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative. Due to overwhelming popularity, this year that number will increase to 153 students who will participate in Job Shadow events in the spring of 2010, with this number possibly doubling in the fall.
Many of the students dropping out of high school are dropping out despite the fact they have passing grades. They simply don’t see the relevance of their school work today to their future life success.
That’s why the $5.5 million Job Shadow initiative is a key pillar of the AT&T Aspire program, one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to high school retention and workforce readiness. It provides a chance for students to explore potential future careers and connect classroom learnings to real life opportunities.
The initiative is committed to reaching 100,000 high school students over 5 years. During the 2008-2009 school year, over 13,000 students in over 100 cities participated in the initiative.
About Junior Achievement® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 131 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.