Program preps students for jobs, business

Published 2:06 am Friday, March 23, 2018

Red Level High School’s juniors put recent lessons to work Thursday when they were feted with a business luncheon at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce

After participating in a workplace readiness program coordinated by Covington County career coach Beth Dean and Red Level counselor Melissa Nall, they received invitations to a CCB Community Bank-sponsored lunch. For the luncheon, they “dressed for success” as they’d been coached to do by Chamber assistant director Maggie Jones.

They used proper manners and etiquette, as taught by Katie King.

And they sat with business leaders and used business and interview and workplace skills as taught by Tari McClung and Michelle Horton of CCB; Will Bumpers of Southeast Gas; Danny Taylor of Shaw Industries; and John Dean of PowerSouth. A number of other CCB officers also joined the group for lunch.

Beth Dean said the program was modeled on one she’d heard about in which a school partnered with a single industry for similar guest speakers.

“We took that idea and found a number of people to work with,” she said.

And they added elements as they went along.

“Katie King talked to them about invitations and RSVPs,” she said. “So we took that idea and actually sent them invitations to today’s luncheon. They will follow up with thank-you notes.”

For their parts, the students said they feel better prepared for job interviews.

Ansley Russell, an RHS junior who works part time at Clark Theatres, said she definitely has better ideas about dressing for an interview.

“I learned that you should wear natural colors because bright ones are too distracting,” she said. “And close-toed shoes.”

Russell plans to pursue a law degree and wants to become a corporate attorney.

Johnathan Short also has successfully navigated an interview, and works at Zaxby’s.

“Now I know I need to be more prepared for an interview,” he said. He also knows more about proper manners and etiquette.

Short hopes to pursue a career in forestry.

Jakya Richardson said the program has helped her prepare for interviews.

“We talked a lot about what to wear, and looking the interviewer in the eye,” she said.

Richardson plans to pursue a career in psychology.

Jacob Roland also feels better prepared for job interviews. Putting forth a firm handshake and looking people in the eye is important, he said. So is knowing the background of the company with which one is interviewing, and having a copy of a resume handy, even if it has already been submitted.

Roland, who is already participating in online dual enrollment classes through the University of Alabama, plans to pursue a business degree in risk management.