Working with a statewide two-year school system in Georgia to help promote jobs and educate technical college students about in -demand careers, Strivven Media, which produces VirtualJobShadow.com, is pleased to announce a partnership with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The TCSG agency oversees the state’s 23 technical colleges, adult literacy programs and other economic and workforce development programs. Their mission is to provide technical, academic and training that is focused on building a competitive workforce within Georgia.
Executive Director of TCSG Student Affairs is Dr. Nichole Kennedy, whose role includes serving as the lead person in student services needs. She was instrumental in acquiring the Virtual Job Shadow career planning resource and says the new partnership will fill a critical gap for the more than 150,000 full and part-time students enrolled in the statewide college system.
Using a series of highly-engaging, three to four-minute videos that capture a day in the life of workers in different career fields, VirtualJobShadow.com gives users the ability to job shadow from a laptop or tablet. Professionals featured in the videos provide advice to job seekers on topics that range from educational requirements, needed skills, working conditions and personal comments about the joys and challenges of the work.
Kennedy says the Virtual Job Shadow videos allow students to see for themselves what a job entails from a real person on a day-to-day basis. “I liked the idea that they didn’t use actors and that many of the jobs are the direct result of a two-year college degree so that our students can better relate. It allows them to determine what career choices they want to make based upon decisions other than whether or not a job is glamorous. It also helps them decide if the job is really right for them. It’s the next best thing to actually being there.”
Strivven Media’s ability to produce high-quality videos using graduates from the schools at which the program is utilized was another selling point for Kennedy. “If a student can watch someone from the school they are attending performing a job, it brings the career field even closer to home.” Too often, she adds, students see only those professions that require a postgraduate degree while the demands for real-life jobs – and the skills that match them - are elsewhere, another gap technical colleges must fill.
“In Georgia, our high-demand jobs are in advanced manufacturing, which is returning, in healthcare and in technology. Baxter has located just outside of Atlanta; Kia manufacturing has a west Georgia plant and Mercedes-Benz is here. Of course, internet security and computer skills are still in high demand.”
But the biggest challenge, she says, is matching these jobs to the skills they require. “Through VirtualJobShadow.com, we hope to reach students earlier in their career decision making, which allows them to make the right choice instead of choosing a job they are not well equipped to do.”
In today’s world, says Kennedy, it’s no longer feasible to physically shadow a person on a job. There are liability issues, cost and time constraints. “Not only is it more cost-effective to virtually shadow, many of our students have transportation issues or work a full-time job. But if they can sit down at a computer for 30 minutes and experience a career that would have taken them hours of travel time, they are more likely to follow through.”
As more students choose the career path that is right for them, says Kennedy, the more likely they will become successful. In turn, a good match of students to jobs can enhance the school’s graduation rate and serve as an effective recruitment tool.
Kim Celentano, CEO for Strivven Media, agrees that VirtualJobShadow.com can help steer Georgia’s technical college students into opportunities that are better suited to them, as well as jobs they may not have considered. “We’re very excited about working with the Technical College System of Georgia. This partnership offers a tremendous opportunity to promote the state’s workforce needs and we will be reaching out to Georgia’s leading employers to participate in our program. VirtualJobShadow.com would not possible without the amazing corporate support we receive coast to coast.”
For details on the Technical College System of Georgia visit www.tcsg.edu. More information on Virtual Job Shadow® is available at www.VirtualJobShadow.com.