On any trip, it helps to know where you are going and how you will get there.
For the Careers on Wheels event at the Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman on Friday, the goal was to guide high school students toward more possibilities once they’re ready to start their own careers.
“We believe there is benefit in broadening their scope,” said Tim Woody. The Iredell-Statesville Schools Vocational and Technical Education Director explained that middle school is a good time to explore different professions before you start focusing on particular careers in high school.
“We want them to focus on what they do after high school, whether it’s going to work, going to college, or going to the military. We want them to know that CTE courses can benefit them regardless of their post-secondary goal.”
The inaugural event was planned to help open students’ eyes to a number of transportation jobs as they progress through high school.
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About 1,000 students from Iredell-Statesville Schools and the Mooresville School District came to see more than four dozen different businesses and how transportation, logistics and people play a role both on the road and behind the scenes.
Careers on Wheels was established by the Iredell-Statesville Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department as part of a collaborative effort with Mitchell Community College, Mooresville Graded School District and Iredell County Economic Development Corp.
Juli Tipton, career development coordinator for college programs, said the event was linked to a career exploration platform called Major Clarity. She said it can help students see their strengths and weaknesses and what careers might be best suited to their interests and skills.
“The more they interact with this platform, the narrower their focus becomes and hopefully guide them to a fulfilling career one day,” Tipton said.
And while some college students may or may not find themselves in careers in transportation or technical fields, events like Careers on Wheels show them the people and equipment involved in those careers.
“I’m learning that all of these people really care about their jobs and what they do. They’re all really passionate,” said Braylon Snead, a student at Lakeshore Middle in Mooresville.
Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL.