All posts tagged education committee

Education Update: Students Prepare for Future Careers


How will you attract future employees?  A great place to start is by inviting today’s students to learn about your business and what skills or education they will need to work for you. Career fairs, mock interviews, and job shadows are the best way to introduce local students to careers in Venango County.

Oil City High School will hold its annual College and Career Fair on March 11, with the goal to educate 9-12 grade students on the many college and career opportunities available within a reasonable distance from the Oil City area. Last year, they had 51 tables representing a variety of careers, businesses, military branches, colleges, and trade/technical schools.

Students will have a 20 minute time allotment to meet and greet in an interview type scenario. Participants should come prepared with a table setup (tables provided) that will help engage questions and answers from teenagers who are perhaps a bit shy about how to approach someone.

There will be students available to assist with set-up/tear-down, etc. There will also be beverages and refreshments provided for all vendors. If interested, please complete the form at the link provided: bit.ly/OCCareerFair2020

Job Shadows

Many students are seeking an opportunity to shadow a business, which may be a part of their graduation requirement, but more importantly provides them with a chance to see firsthand what a day in your business would be like.

It is a commitment to invite a student to spend several hours with you and your staff, but it is also an investment in the future of the student and our community.  If you are willing to be included in a directory of businesses offering to host a student shadow, please complete the form at venangochamber.org/job-shadow-guide.

Not certain how you can provide a student with a meaningful experience? Check out the Job Shadow Guide, which also has tips for employers.

Contact the Chamber and we’d be happy to share how we engage students in learning about business and why we think your business should join us in hosting job shadows.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s February 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Photo credit: The Derrick & The News-Herald

Chamber Education Committee Update – November 2019


Local businesses continue to express finding employees is one of their biggest barriers. Population decline, skills deficits, and failed drug tests are often listed as reasons enough prospective employees are lacking, but you may be surprised to learn that lack of knowledge about available jobs may be the largest contributor to the shortage of qualified applicants.

There are those who are simply unaware of the number of open positions, that span from entry level to high skills trades and professional careers. Then there are those who assume that they are not a good match for the available jobs, because of a mismatch in the skills possessed and the advertised job description/requirements.

Unfortunately, it has become common to hear that many people do not have a familiarity with our local businesses, what they do, and what job opportunities they have available. There appears to be many opportunities to bridge gaps between communities.

Long gone are the days when multi generations of family members worked for the same businesses, passing along information about a business’s  products, services, and culture of the company, typically accompanied by a special kind of pride.

Most recently, 10th grade students from Oil City High School visited several local businesses including Klapec Trucking, Webco, Millcraft, Pepro, and USA Choice. Oil City High School Principal Scott Stahl remarks: “These tours were very valuable for students, but just as impactful to the teachers who had the chance to chaperone the tours.” To include all high school teachers and 12th grade students, Scott has planned for presentations throughout the school year, with business leaders addressing teacher and student groups. Chamber President Susan Williams has been assisting in making introductions between educators and businesses.

Local school districts Valley Grove, Cranberry, and Titusville invite business representatives to assist them in providing seniors with realistic mock interviews, after thorough preparation in preparing a resume, application, and cover letter. Several Chamber members and staff have or will participate as volunteers and report that the students are remarkably prepared for a job search.

Businesses who are interested in participating in career readiness programs can contact the Chamber to be identified for future presentations and volunteer opportunities.

Additionally, businesses can continue to submit their information to be included in the Job Shadow Resource Guide and to have Job Posters created for use by the schools, by visiting  venangochamber.org/education-committee-2019.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s November 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.