Show-Me Careers, one of the Missouri Chamber’s many workforce development efforts to expand educator and student career awareness, is growing this summer.
Led by Missouri Chamber Vice President of Education Programs Brian Crouse, the program offers a week-long experience where educators go inside a variety of companies that offer great career opportunities accessible to high school graduates. The program was created to address the fact that educators usually have little exposure to career opportunities outside of those requiring a four-year degree. This can lead to significant career awareness gaps for students.
Tours for participating educators range from bio-life science research and production firms to advanced manufacturing operations to health care facilities and beyond. Participants also create lesson plans to bring their experiences their students. Participants are offered a stipend for completing the program and afterward meet throughout the year for follow-up resources and support.
Approximately 160 educators, counselors and administrators, representing 15 school districts, are slated to participate in 2021.
“Since we launched this program in 2018 in St. Louis, we always intended to take it to more regions around the state. After successfully expanding to Kansas City last year, we are now proud to be offering the Show Me Careers experience in Cape Girardeau as well,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “It is more important than ever that today’s students gain awareness of the wide range of modern careers available to them. This unique learning opportunity provides a more robust understanding of the abilities, behaviors and mindsets that students will need to thrive in today’s professional environments. When we take educators behind the scenes of these workplaces, it gives them the interactive, firsthand experiences they need to effectively bring those career opportunities to life in the classroom.”
“Cape Girardeau’s employers are aware of their future workforce needs and familiar with the misleading perceptions of their industries,” said Kim Voelker, vice president of the Cape Girardeau Chamber. “Educators are some of the most important individuals influencing our future employees, and we are both excited and grateful for the opportunity to help bridge the gap between these audiences by participating in Show-Me Careers.”
The Show-Me Careers program was developed in partnership with the St. Louis Regional Business Council in 2018 to expand relevant and timely industry knowledge to education professionals. Since then it has grown with support from the Kauffman Foundation, STEMpact, St. Louis Community College, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). After going virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, out of an abundance of caution the program will largely remain virtual this year as well. Employer hosts include the Boeing Company, Spire, Ameren, PARIC, World Wide Technology, Saint Luke’s Healthcare System, Cerner, J.E. Dunn and many others.
Learn more at www.mochamber.com/workforce/show-me-careers.