On August 22, Ridgway Area School District partnered with the DISCOVER Partnership of Cameron & Elk Counties to host an Educator in the Work Place event that included a tour at DOMTAR in Johnsonburg. The event focused on the Career Education and Work Standards and the importance that all key stakeholders (students, parents, educators/administrators, business/community and post-secondary) are needed to Impact Academic and Career Maturity of All Students and aide in the design of a K-12 School Counseling Program.
According to Superintendent, Mrs. Heather McMahon-Vargas, "Educators from the District toured Domtar. Domtar was a very impressive facility that provides our communities with excellent jobs and opportunities. In addition, it employs a work force with a very diverse set of talents and skills from across trades and education. It is nearly a self-sustaining facility that is economically and environmentally responsible for the products and bi-products that are produced in the system. The employees spoke highly of their experience being employed at Domtar and were extremely proud to be working in their home communities. Today's experience and the District's continued support of the school to work program and pursuit of internship/apprenticeship opportunities enables the District to be part of the solution for enhancing the local work force and securing employment for students after graduation."
In addition to touring Domtar, staff from 4th through 12th grade heard presentations from: Eric Wolfe, Board Member of the Manufacturing for Employee Education and Advancement (MEAA), Inc and President of Horizon Technologies; Pam Streich, the Director of Strategic Planning and Project Management Workforce Solutions of North Central PA; Gina Jones, Human Resource Manager at Domtar, Kim Rees, Executive Director for Potter County Education Council and Amy Goode, Program Manager for DISCOVER Partnership/Community Education Center of Elk & Cameron Counties. Educators were updated with data and statistics of the local economy and labor market and provided first-hand knowledge of what local industry is looking for in their future employees. Kim Rees focused on career development and emphasized "Students need to know who they are, where they want to go and understand the process of how they are going to get there".
Mrs. McMahon-Vargas added "The District hosted Educator in the Work Place because we believe it is important for educators and administrators to understand from first-hand experience, what the local work force opportunities and needs are. This understanding also prepares the staff to educate the students on the critical transition from high school to post-secondary pursuits."
The DISCOVER Partnership organizes Educator in the Workplace Events throughout the year visiting local businesses in a variety of career fields. These experiences provide teachers with a better understanding of the workplace and how their subject matters are applied on the job, identify local career opportunities and skills needed for success, and offer ideas for teachers to effectively prepare students to be productive citizens. This program was funded in part by the CEC’s DISCOVER Partnership of