Employee for a Day: Juniors Across the District Participate in Job Shadowing

May 8, 2018

By Anne Allen, Advisory Coach, Grades 7-12

Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. Eleventh-grade students across the district recently took an important step in making that post-graduation leap into the real world through job shadowing.

Some Taft students helped the team at Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati prepare for the organization’s upcoming 5K fundraiser. Photo credit: DSAGC.

What exactly is job shadowing? An out-of-the-classroom learning opportunity, job shadowing provides students with a first-hand experience of what a company workplace is like by touring different departments and operations within the company and spending time with employees to ask questions. The experience ultimately helps students make their post-graduation plans.

Job shadowing is an important part of CPS’ Career-Based Learning curriculum and participating companies are often district partners.

Throughout March and April, students from Aiken New Tech, Robert A. Taft IT, Oyler, Gilbert A. Dater, Riverview East, and Woodward Career Technical high schools visited various partner companies.

See highlights below:

Aiken at Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

A vital organization in the heart of the city, the Chamber helps bring people, companies and jobs to the Queen City. Ten students from Aiken New Tech High School toured the office and listened to presentations from the talent, corporate and community events, customer experience and marketing teams.

“The Chamber produced BLINK, which I thought was the most creative thing,” said one student. “It is amazing. Over 1,000,000 people came!”

Dater and Oyler at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)

About 60 students from Gilbert A. Dater High School and Oyler School attended a shadow day at CCHMC and learned about life-saving technology and practices in which the hospital excels.

Click to view slideshow.

They met with Dr. Ray Bignall, pediatric nephrologist, over lunch. Students also watched ultrasounds of surgeries with a pediatric cardiologist, viewed live cells and samples of tissue through a microscope with an oncology researcher in her lab and learned how to find their pulse and take their blood pressure with the help of two nurse practitioners.

Dater at Cincinnati Fire Department and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)

Some Dater students visited the Cincinnati Fire Department. Visiting with other operations within the department, including engine operations, ladder operations and search and rescue, students got a glimpse of how all the pieces of a firehouse work together to keep the city safe.

Click to view slideshow.

Other Dater students visited the land of take-offs and landings with a trip across the river to tour CVG. Students met with employees in different areas, including engineering, graphics and signage, maintenance and airport police.

Aiken and Dater at General Electric (GE)

More than 70 students from Aiken and Dater toured GE, speaking with representatives in 3D printing, logistics, and communications.

Dater and Oyler at DHL

On the road to a career in logistics, Oyler and Dater students who successfully complete the rigorous program may receive an official offer from DHL for full-time employment.

As part of a new partnership between the district and DHL, United Way, Supply Chain OKI, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, PNC Bank, and Cincinnati Works, Oyler and Dater students can participate in a logistics career pathway. Students saw what a career in logistics would be like with a visit across the river to DHL’s CVG Hub. Learn more and watch a video about this new program.

More students will have opportunities to shadow different companies later this spring.


Taft at SORTA/Metro

“The next five years of your life will determine the quality of the next 30 years of your life,” Darryl Haley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at SORTA/Metro, told the students.

From maintenance to graphic design—a simple bus trip has a lot of moving parts at SORTA/Metro. Taft students met with different teams at the corporate office, the Bond Hill facility and the Queensgate maintenance facility interacting with associates from the communications and graphic design team, maintenance and operations teams, as well as a visit with Darryl Haley, executive vice president and chief operations officer at SORTA/Metro.

“The next five years of your life will determine the quality of the next 30 years of your life,” Haley told the students.

Taft students who did not shadow at SORTA/Metro shadowed at the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, where they learned about non-profit careers and helped prepare the organization’s upcoming 5K walk and fundraiser.



Woodward Career Technical at Messer Construction

Woodward students spent time with Messer Construction employees across marketing, risk management, virtual design and construction, human resources, accounting and economic inclusion (supplier diversity). Some employees are even CPS alumni themselves. Students met Heather Hayden, Woodward class of 2012 (valedictorian), who is now a journeyman carpenter in Messer’s craftforce, and Sarah Brockert, Hughes STEM graduate, who now works in virtual design.

More than just “building things,” many Woodward students were impressed by Messer Construction’s corporate office.

“I want to work in a building and workplace culture like this,” said one student of her experience.

“I thought construction was just building, but there’s a lot more to it,” said another student. One student was so impressed that they decided to talk to their counselor about adjusting their career plan.

The day concluded with a lunch and learn led by Brooks Parker, vice president of craftforce development. Parker shared his story of starting in construction 40 years ago as a journeyman carpenter, and the different ways his diverse experience served as his education, especially when he decided to get a degree later in life.

“Never stop learning,” Parker told students. “I was 52 years old when I got my associate’s degree.”