Stepping out of the classroom

Mentoring program gives youths firsthand look at occupations

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Fill out complete applications and start looking for work early, Craig Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike told students Wednesday at the Craig City Hall.

The Colorado Workforce Center, Moffat County School District and School to Work Alliance Program exposed a handful of youths to a variety of jobs, educating them on options and demands in the work force.

"We're creating an awareness of some of the many occupations available, with firsthand information from the employers," Delaine Voloshin of the school district said during one of the group's stops at Chapman's Automotive.

The youths also visited McCandless Animal Hospital and the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

Voloshin said the youths involved in the program have some type of barrier -- either physical or emotional or a lack of a high school diploma -- and the goal is to train them to be successful in the work force.

Pike told the group of teenagers during their visit to City Hall to get a jump on applying for summer jobs.

"Try and keep your background as clean as possible," Pike said. "It doesn't seem like a big deal now, but 10 to 15 years from now, it will."

Pike encouraged everyone to try as many jobs as possible.

"It's variety," Pike said. "The more you try, the more you know."

Lisa Pressley, who is interested in business or acting, said she learned a lot of helpful tips about picking up a summer job.

On the group's visit to

Chapman's, through the noise of machinery, they learned about the automotive industry.

Owner J.B. Chapman challenged anyone who liked working with his hands and solving problems to give mechanics a try.

"If you like Xbox, you're going to have to change a bit," Chapman said. "You've got to know what the "X" button and the "Y" button does and that takes coordination."

But coordination with the Xbox and working on an automobile are different, he said. One takes self-motivation.

"It puts the kids here, in the building -- not reading a book, but seeing it and experiencing it," Voloshin said. "Hearing it from an employer gives voice to it, gives it more impact."

John Henry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or jhenry@craigdailypress.com.

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