FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shadows, Mentors kick off Career Development
Month with Groundhog Job Shadow Day
of high school students in Illinois will enter the world of
work on February 1, as they job shadow representatives from
business, government and industry on national Groundhog Job
Illinois Governor George H. Ryan has designated
February as Career Development Month. Students will have the
opportunity to participate in career-related activities throughout
the month sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education's
Education-to-Careers (ETC) initiative.
Springfield area public and nonpublic high schools
will send about 100 students to workplaces Friday. Students
will be able to experience a wide variety of career areas
ranging from medicine, government, education, law enforcement
and business administration, and numerous other job options.
Judges in Springfield, and from other judicial districts across
the state, will host student shadows for the day. Job shadowing
assignments during Career Development Month are representative
of the many opportunities provided for students throughout
While Illinois students spend the day shadowing, they will
be joined by more than one million of their peers participating
in work places nationwide.
On a national level, former President George
Bush will have a job shadow for the fourth straight year on
Thursday, January 31. Nearly 3,000 Wal-Mart stores, including
the Springfield Northeast location, will host student job
shadows on Groundhog Job Shadow Day. More than 4,000 Mariott
business units will host job shadows and the corporate chairman
will conduct a hotel inspection with job shadows at his side.
Several students will get a behind the scenes look at national
television news on February 1, when they shadow personalities
from the NBC's "Today Show" and CBS's "Early
Locally, Springfield's Crowne Plaza hotel will
host 13 job shadows from Springfield High School's Hospitality
Academy. Students from the media program at Chatham Glenwood
high school will be shadowing in the Capitol bureaus of WAND-TV
and WCIA-TV and at Illinois Information Service. WICS-TV will
mentor students from Petersburg-Porta High School.
For other examples of activities throughout
the nation, visit national sponsor Monster.com's website at
This site also allows students to learn more about careers
and career preparation. Students can also experience "virtual
job shadowing" through the website.
"This is an exciting opportunity for students,"
said Hazel Loucks, Deputy Governor for Education. "Along
with the excitement, these students will gain valuable knowledge
of specific careers and preparation needed to be successful.
Employers also gain from this experience by coaching students
on skills that have helped them in their careers.
"We are pleased with the generous participation
of employers throughout the state, and we are especially grateful
for the local efforts of the Greater Springfield Chamber of
Commerce in helping to coordinate employer participation."
"We believe that businesses and schools
must work together closely to ensure that students are well
prepared for the workforce," said Todd Smith, the past
chairman of the Springfield Chamber who spearheaded efforts
to promote job shadowing. "This job shadowing activity
is an important and visible example of how schools and businesses
in this area are collaborating to build a strong workforce
in the future."
Also kicking off Career Development Month will
be an awards ceremony for the winners of two career development
contests, geared towards elementary and middle school students
and sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education. Winners
of the Illinois Elementary Hero Contest and regional finalists
of the Illinois Multi-Media Middle School contest will be
recognized at 1 p.m. at the Illinois Statehouse.
A list of students and employers participating
in Job Shadow Day in Illinois can be found at www.isbe.net/etc/whatsnew.html.
Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777