Tomorrow’s Talent; virtual job shadowing initiative

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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – Students in the Upper Peninsula have an opportunity to participate in a virtual job shadowing series through May 2021.

Michigan Technological University’s Center for Educational Outreach, Upper Peninsula Michigan Works!, the MiSTEM Network, Career and Technical Education (CTE) directors, intermediate school districts (ISDs), and several colleges, universities, and businesses developed “Tomorrow’s Talent” to give students a virtual look at different career paths.

Jannah Tumey, Assistant Director of Educational Outreach at Michigan Technological University, says the series will help students see career opportunities primarily in the Upper Peninsula but also in other regions.

“Tomorrow’s Talent Series was developed as kind of a program that would combine videos that showcase the day in the life of professionals in a wide variety of fields along with live Q&As with those professionals and then we also have some hands-on activity kits for high school students and we also have some curriculum resources that are being developed for inside the classrooms with middle school students,” said Tumey.

Educators, workforce developers and business leaders will show their work through five to ten minute videos. Careers in manufacturing, business/entrepreneurship, health sciences, technology, engineering, trades, and environmental sciences will be highlighted. Each month focusses on a different career field.

“I think it’s a really special opportunity for students to tune in they can ask their questions to professionals live and just get really honest feedback not just about what it’s like to be in those careers but also the steps that they could take if they’re interested in what this career could lead to now so what classes should they be taking, what kind of soft skills do these careers really emphasize,” said Tumey. “

The program is free for middle and high schoolers to participate in. It’s intended to offer an alternative to in-person job shadowing that may not be occurring due to COVID-19.

“Tomorrow’s Talent Series is an opportunity for middle and high school students to still continue job shadowing even though during this time they’re not really doing field trips and they’re not really able to have guest speakers and so we wanted to preserve that career exploration for students,” said Tumey.

Times for the question and answer series are posted on Facebook by Mi-STEM Network – Eastern Upper Peninsula ahead of the events. Series videos can be found at Michigan Technological University’s website. Businesses or educators interested in participating can contact outreach@mtu.edu.

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