Jared Ebbing Demonstrates Hometown Opportunity Website to StudentsPosted On: December 17, 2012
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On Friday December 14th, Jared Ebbing (Mercer County Economic Development Director) spoke to the entire senior class at Coldwater High School about what opportunities exist for them in the region as they approach graduation next spring.
While speaking to each of Mr. Pete Lisi’s five Senior Civics classes, Jared was also able to demonstrate the Hometown Opportunity website and the many tools & features within it.
Although most seniors raised their hands when asked if they’d like to stay or come back to the area upon graduation and/or post-secondary education, many also raised questions about whether opportunity truly exists for them here in the region. This common misperception is what these discussion groups as well as the website are trying overcome. There are indeed many companies & careers available in the region that students (and their parents) just don’t know exist. “I’m just trying to give these students an idea of what’s truly out there in the area within their potential career interest” states Mr. Ebbing.
By working closely with our many great regional companies (some unknown to many within the region), the Hometown Opportunity website provides a collective medium for each company to showcase who they are, what they do, and who’ll they need in the future to continue their successful operations. These company “footprints” become the “tools” needed to help assist students, their guidance counselors and parents with their career pathway decisions moving forward. This new dynamic also allows them become more aware of opportunities in the many career fields that do exist at our companies in the region. In addition, Jared explained that the website also allows for all companies to post all new job openings in the region which then sends out notification emails to all those that have registered on the site within their desired career category. Finally, the conversation wrapped up with what sort of training and education would be required for one to enter a specific career. Many resources exist for students to further their training as they begin to determine which of the many thousand or so career paths is right for them.
Towards the end of the discussion, Mr. Lisi asked the students to fill out cards indicating what they liked about the site and what they thought could be improved upon. We are welcoming all suggestions for the site from students (as well as from our companies) to make it easier for the exchange of information to occur. After all, this site is for the community and will be continuously improved upon to ensure that any lingering misperception about the so-called “lack of opportunities” in this area is overcome.
By then end of the school day, the nearly 100 students were able to hear about the many hometown companies and career opportunities that do (and will) exist for them in region and understand how this website and the associated Facebook and Twitter feeds will also enable them to stay connected with this area into the future. As of 3:00 on Monday afternoon, nearly 65 students have already signed up to the site and are now able to receive notifications about opportunities as they become available right here in their hometown.