DENTON — Caroline County sophomores gained exposure to diverse industries and educational requirements to plan their future, on Nov. 8 when 53 tenth graders from Colonel Richardson High and North Caroline High Schools who participate in the Next Generation Scholars program toured local businesses for career inspiration. The sophomores visited Caroline County Public Schools, Caroline County Emergency Management, Caroline County Office of Human Resources (HR, Recreation and Parks, Corrections and Public Works departments), Choptank Electric Co-Op, Crystal Steel Fabricators, Inc., Provident State Bank (Preston Branch) and Walmart. This is the second year the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) has coordinated a day-long field trip for sophomores to enhance education and career awareness as well as promote college completion for high school students.

“The Next Generation Scholars were an amazing group of students with aspiring career goals,” said Sherry A. Bratton, director of human resources at Caroline County Office of Human Resources.

“Choptank Electric Cooperative was thankful for the opportunity to speak with local students about the Co-op and the many different kinds of careers that we offer,” said Elizabeth Hallett, manager of marketing and communications for Choptank Electric. “Occupational Training Administrator Jimmy Harvey and I hope we helped students decide on career paths that are right for them.”

MBRT designed the career tours to connect students with community businesses and provide opportunities to learn about career choices they may not have previously considered. These connections can also help pave the way for future job shadowing and summer internship opportunities. Throughout the day, students toured facilities as well as learned about education requirements and what occurs during a typical workday. They also spoke directly with professionals about their industry and their career path.

For example, students learned about services that the Caroline County Emergency Management Services provides to local residents that encompass hazard planning, risk management, emergency medical assistance and emergency communications, including 911. While visiting Provident State Bank, they learned about banking, financing, loans, credit and mortgage lending and the types of classes they would need to take to follow a career in banking. The sophomores who toured Crystal Steel Fabricators learned about steel framing that is often used in office buildings, schools, hospitals and sports arenas. At the local Walmart, students explored the world of retail and were introduced to the many departments that need to work together to make a megastore run on a daily basis.

“We were excited to again offer this popular learning experience for our Next Generation Scholars because it is such a valuable opportunity for our students to explore real careers in the community and talk to professionals working in a specific field,” says Brian Dulay, executive director of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. “Our goal is that Next Generation Scholars will begin to formulate future plans and strategies about how to get where they want to go and be successful in college, career and life.”

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