GLASGOW — Students at Glasgow High School will soon have the opportunity to interact with local industry leaders and learn more about potential careers in the area.
The GHS Academy of Engineering will be hosting an Industry Career Day from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 21. This event is a follow up to last year’s Classroom to Industry Luncheon.
GHS teacher JR Dakin, who oversees the school’s AOE program, said last year’s event brought local industry representatives into the high school so they could learn more about the engineering program.
“I had some students in all five of my classes demonstrating what they do,” Dakin said. “Because I did not feel like industry or people in Glasgow and Barren County were aware of the technology that we have here and the tools and resources.
“So I wanted them to see what skills that my students are getting.”
Dakin said he and his advisory board decided to host a follow-up event this year that would include a career fair for the students.
“Now that these industries see what our students have, we want the industry to show the students what they have to offer,” he said. “So the intent is keeping our young talent in Glasgow and Barren County.”
Dakin added that the Kentucky Department of Education is promoting a program called “Unite to Serve,” which, according to KDE's website, is a statewide project with the overall goal of having career and technical student organizations within a school “work together to serve their school or community.”
One of Unite to Serve’s three initiatives is career awareness, Dakin said, which is why they are having three career and technical student organizations from GHS collaborating on this event — Technology Student Association (TSA), Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).
“We’re not just focusing on engineering,” Dakin said. “We want all industry — health, anything that can employee our students that showcases their skills — that’s what we’re after.
“We’re inviting industry to come in and set up in our foyer. I’m going to set up a schedule where teachers can bring their students down and mingle and interact with the industry representation.”
Dakin said he likes these types of events because of the awareness they bring to students and the community.
“I think it’s bad when we just isolate school and we think we’re preparing students for the workforce or post-secondary education,” he said, adding that they need to let “the left hand know what the right hand is doing.”
Dakin said this event will give students a chance to see what all is out there.
“I want them to see that what we do right here is what happens in the real world,” he said. “So they know that they’re getting a quality education that will help them in their futures.”
GHS junior Payne Flatt said while he wasn’t at last year’s industry luncheon, he is excited about being involved with this year’s event.
“It’s really cool that students can have the chance to do that,” he said. “Meet real people that actually do that stuff and get to see what you can possibly go into.
“It’s cool to get to meet them because you get to see what you would actually be doing and they could answer questions if you have any about your future job.”
GHS junior Taylor Logsdon, who is the school’s TSA president, said interacting with local industry builds her confidence in that “I kind of know how the field works and I kind of know that I have a step up on other people because not all communities do this.”
“So when I go in and do an internship in civil engineering, and I have to work with other career people, I know a little bit of what they do and I know I can talk with them and mingle with them on their level,” she said. “So we’ll get on the same page easier and quicker.”
Logsdon said she is really looking forward to this year’s event because “it’s not just one thing.”
“It’s not just engineering,” she said. “It’s our whole community coming together and helping students realize the opportunities that they have here in Glasgow.
“We’re very fortunate. We’re a small town, but I think we’re one of the most advanced small towns. I think that we have a lot of opportunities here that students don’t realize that they have.”
Even though Logsdon is a student leader in the school's engineering program, she said it’s important for students to be as diverse as they can.
“I don’t want everybody to focus on (just) engineering, because, as much as I love engineering, there are other important fields out there that need to be explored,” she said. “So I think it’s important for people to get diverse in their knowledge of careers.
“I think that everybody can be good at more than one thing. So if they find a career that they enjoy, and they’re good at, that would be the best outcome.”