Students@Work Week
Students@Work Week
Posted on 03/29/2018
An Enka Middle School student learns how to service an electrical pole.BCS Communications Department

This week, going to class meant exploring hospitals, courtrooms, helicopters, farmers markets, and more!

As part of Students@Work Week, Enka Middle School students put on their boots and visited one of Asheville’s Duke Energy facilities, where they spent some hands-on time with a local crew. Students learned about servicing electrical poles, safety harnesses, and even spent some time navigating the mud with an all-terrain vehicle.

“Students@Work Week provides the opportunity for middle school students to explore and engage with their community and see the variety of careers available in our area,” said Christy Cheek, BCS Director of Career and Technical Education.

NORTH BUNCOMBE MIDDLE SCHOOL

North Buncombe Middle School students visited an iconic local attraction here in Asheville: the The Omni Grove Park Inn. After learning about the vast number of career opportunities pursued within the walls of the historic Inn, students worked with chefs on a delicious project involving donuts!

“The Students@Work program is a wonderful opportunity for young people in our community to learn firsthand about the careers that are available to them right here in western North Carolina,” explained Joshua Kersey, the Inn’s Human Resources Manager.

“When the students visit us at The Omni Grove Park Inn, we are happy to share with them information about the Inn, its rich history, and how they can play a significant role in the hospitality and tourism industry,” he said. “Even with 1,000 team members at the resort, we always welcome extra hands preparing our house-made doughnuts.”

The visit was a perfect complement to North Buncombe Middle's courses focused on the tourism and hospitality industries.

“It really opened their eyes to the types of careers that are out there,” said Rodney Smith, Career Development Coordinator at North Buncombe Middle.

An Owen High School student gets a closer look at a Venus flytrap.OWEN HIGH SCHOOL

Though Students@Work Week mostly served middle-schoolers, a few high school Career and Technical Education students joined the mix.

Charles D. Owen High School students got a “taste” of the agricultural world with a tour of the WNC Farmers Market, which is open year-round and offers everything from potted bonsai trees to bulk vegetables to tasty treats and souvenirs.

“There are all sorts of jobs available in agriculture,” said Beth Frith, marketing specialist for the WNC Farmers Market. “It’s the number one industry in the United States. It’s farming, but it’s also management, food safety, law, banking, research, sales, veterinary services – the list goes on.”

The Owen students walked the floors of an indoor market, where they eyed brightly-colored vegetables in the Coates Produce stand. And a tour of the JMJ Produce warehouse showed them how local supply chains bring fresh fruits and vegetables to Asheville’s fine dining restaurants and even sandwich shops.

ERWIN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Erwin Middle School students toured Buncombe County Government offices in downtown Asheville and shadowed various officials and staff.

County Commissioner Joe Belcher explained to the students the board’s responsibility, powers, and how meetings are conducted. The students learned about the court system through the Clerk of Superior Court, Steven Cogburn.

Seventh-grader Mallory Kunellis said Cogburn helped her understand a legal term – accessory.

“It means that if you help someone commit a crime, you’re at fault,” she said.

The students also toured the county EMS system and heard about the job requirements and day-in-the-life stories from a paramedic.

VALLEY SPRINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL

Eight-graders from Valley Springs got to meet the governor and learn about some of the special programs at Mission Health. Read the story.

Valley Springs Middle School students touch two sets of lungs with gloved hands.Erwin Middle School students got to sit in the county commissioner's seats.
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