Employers honored by working students

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Everyone gets something different from their high school years that will help in the future.

Some don't know what that is until years later, when the lesson or knowledge is applied in their life. Others acquire that lesson or knowledge and know that eventually it will help them.

They also know that they've gained something special.

On Thursday evening, Moffat County High School students will be thanking those who have helped give them the skills that will someday make them a success.

The students of the Alternative Cooperative Education (ACE) program will organize and host a dinner for employers who have participated in the program. These employers offered employment and advice to the students.

"ACE is a work program for high school students," said Rose Siminoe, ACE coordinator for MCHS. "It is designed, of course, with the number one objective to help students graduate. But, while working towards graduation, the program helps the students learn work skills and job ethics, as well as learning a skill or trade."

The program is open to juniors and seniors. The students apply, and a selection committee determines if that student is right for the program. Once the student has been accepted and placed in part-time employment, their progress is monitored by an advisory council made up of representatives of participating community business and school staff.

"This program concentrates primarily on students who are behind in credits, who are at risk of dropping out," Siminoe said. "ACE is designed to help them earn transition credits that go towards getting their high school diploma."

The ACE work program is vocationally certified, which qualifies it for some state funding. Through the program, the students learn how to work and succeed in various employment situations, learning lessons both in the classroom and on the job site. It also allows them to experience different kinds of work, giving them a taste of a certain field, and helping them decide if that particular trade is for them, Siminoe said.

"The kids are putting together this dinner to honor and thank the employers that participated with the students in the ACE program this year."

One of those participating employers was NAPA Auto Parts.

"I think the program works really well," said NAPA owner John Ponikvar. "Hopefully, we've given these kids some valuable work experience and helped them to prepare for after graduation.

NAPA presented its work requirements to ACE, and the program worked with the students to prepare them for employment at the store, he said.

"It's a great opportunity for the students to get into a situation where they can show off their abilities, experience a competitive environment and be exposed to a business they may or may not want to become involved in," Ponikvar said. "I think it's a good program for the kids."

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