Students from ten high schools in various school systems attended a virtual HSHT presentation/tour of East Georgia State College on 3/31/21. Approximately 70 individuals participated in the event. The presentation included information on all three of the East Georgia campuses located in Augusta, Swainsboro, and Statesboro. Students received information on admissions and the application process which included deadlines for submission of applications for acceptance. Students were given information about various programs to assist in meeting the financial obligations of attending post-secondary education such as financial aid, scholarships, and grants. Instruction was given on applying for financial aid. The presentation included information on Disability Services and instruction for applying for accommodations. Programs of study were shown. Dual enrollment was discussed and procedures to apply were given. The presenters talked about bookstores, dining availability, game rooms, gyms, and other areas for social interaction on the campuses. A virtual tour and photographs of the campuses were provided so students could see where different services and activities were located. They also shared video of the dorms available on the Swainsboro campus. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
On March 25, Mr. Randal Whipple, the UPS Supervisor, for the Waycross Distribution location met with
HSHT students at Ware Co High School. Students from Appling County also participated as Ware Co
High School was willing to assist HSHT in providing this opportunity to Appling County HSHT students
through a YouTube live streaming application.
Mr. Whipple shared that the best way to start a career at UPS is to apply and get hired as a temporary
employee during their high-volume holiday season. He shared that temporary employees who commit,
work hard, show up, show up on time, and work well as team members have an opportunity to be
hired/retained as full-time employees. He also shared all the various career opportunities available at
his location, position’s responsibilities, and the average pay for each position.
Mr. Whipple explained that UPS likes to promote from within. He shared that most that are hired
remain with the company until retirement because of the incredible benefits, such as pay, healthcare,
vacation time, annual bonuses, and retirement.
Students asked many questions, like where can I get an application, how can I make sure I get hired from
an interview, and what exactly does the retirement plan look like. Mr. Whipple was glad to provide
insight on all the questions. One student was extremely interested and recommended by the teacher;
Mr. Whipple spent additional time providing tips for getting hired following his formal presentation.
HSHT Atlanta Braves Stadium Tour
Students from across the state participated in a virtual HSHT Employer Presentation at the Atlanta Braves Stadium. Approximately 80 students participated in the event. The presentation was given by 3 employees at the Atlanta Braves Stadium in the departments of Facilities, Ticketing and Retail. Students learned that the Facilities department is responsible for the electrical systems, heating and air, janitorial, landscaping and numerous other aspects of the stadium. Students learned that the ticketing department is responsible for stadium ticket sales of games, concerts, etc. Students had the opportunity to see how the on-site retail stores look and operate on game day. Each employer shared information about different jobs in each department and the role employees in those positions play in making the stadium run effectively. They discussed the expectations of individuals who work in their departments. The importance of soft skills, such as communication skills and good work ethic were emphasized, and students were also encouraged to stay in school and get their diploma. Qualifications for employment were discussed, including salaries and benefits. Students had the opportunity to ask questions during this presentation.
Appling County Students participated in a job readiness presentation given by Professor Antre' Drummer. In this session, Professor Drummer covered many of aspects of job readiness and employment preparation. He spoke on how to search for employment and craft interview answers to fit the specific job application. In addition, information was presented to students on how to prepare for a job interview by knowing their strengths, abilities, and achievements. Commonly asked interview questions were reviewed along with appropriate responses. Interviewing skills such as handling an on-the-spot interview, preparing for interview questions, and researching the company in advance of the interview was discussed. The students especially enjoyed the discussion of the importance of appropriate grooming and appearance that offered examples and an extra emphasis on the value of smiling. Strategies were discussed on how to conclude and follow up with an interview. The time concluded with some time for questions and answers.
Students from Pierce County High School learned about operations and careers at Progress Rail in Patterson, Georgia. The presentation began with a video of company operations showing how the company builds and contributes to rail transportation. The company manager explained that they are the rail division of The Caterpillar Company.
Students were extremely engaged as Billy Thompson, the company manager, explained how they operate as a team. He shared information about becoming a member of the team, which he said is more like becoming a member of the family. He told students to plan for a long interview when interviewing for Progress Rail. He wants to know all about the potential new team member and their family. Mr. Thompson also shared appropriate attire for the interview. He told students tips about what would impress him as the hiring authority for Progress Rail, and the importance of not bringing their cell phone into the interview. He shared minimum qualifications and the vacant positions they are hiring for now. Mr. Thompson shared company benefits and salaries, and the importance of offering competitive wages to ensure his employees desire to remain with the company.
Mr. Thompson used his own experiences to help students understand how they can join the company in an entry level position, remain committed, and open to learning and growing to expect promotions into leadership roles.
This presentation was on Feb 24th. On March 9th, the Pierce County high school contact shared that one of the students has an upcoming interview with Progress Rail. He learned about this opportunity and how to prepare for the interview because of the HSHT Employer Presentation.
Plant Vogtle Employer Presentation
Students participated in a HSHT virtual Plant Vogtle (nuclear power plant) Employer Presentation. Mike McCracken, in Communications for the Southern Company at Plant Vogtle, stressed the importance of punctuality, adherence to work schedules, good work ethic and safety while at the workplace. Qualifications for employment at this location were discussed as well as salaries and benefits. Information was given about how a nuclear power plant works so that students could understand the nature of the industry and learn about employment opportunities. Mr. McCracken shared that most jobs do require some type of training or certification, but not necessarily a 4-year degree. He discussed employment opportunities from a position such as janitor all the way up to plant manager and stated that often individuals start at entry level as a technician and work their way to more advanced positions. He stressed that the need for electricity will not go away, so working for a power company is likely to be stable employment and is a good place for a career. Students were given the website for Georgia Power so that they could research jobs available and apply for jobs on this site once they graduate and are ready for employment.
There were approximately 85 participants who attended this presentation from multiple school systems. Following the event, feedback was received on how good the presentation had been and how much the students and school staff appreciated all the job information and details that were included in this employer presentation.
The Georgia High School High Tech Program is a comprehensive community-based program providing youth with disabilities a link to academic and career-development experiences that enable them to successfully meet the workforce demands of the 21st century.