Looking ahead

The CMS Career and Technical Education department held a hiring fair for graduating seniors in the Job Connect program May 10 at Junior Achievement in Charlotte. The event connected companies with 72 students, who came with resumes in hand and dressed for success, to apply for one or more of 94 positions.

Job Connect serves more than 100 seniors from Vance, Garinger, Harding University, West Mecklenburg and West Charlotte high schools. Seniors in the program toured company facilities, job-shadowed, listened to guest speakers and participated in career-immersion opportunities during the school year.

"They got to see firsthand what it would look and feel like working in the career pathway of their choosing," said Kimberly Tigner, CTE career development liaison. "It has helped shape our students' views on career opportunities available to them in the Charlotte market."

The program has worked with 20 employers this year, including US Foods, Radco Roofing, Niagara Bottling and Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. In addition, company representatives who were unable to be at the hiring fair held phone interviews earlier in the week. Tigner said six students had phone interviews with True Homes, which had already hired two students.

"This program is doing exactly what we need to be doing – connecting students to well-paying jobs and preparing them for what those jobs require," said Elyse Dashew, vice-chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.