• November 2018

Job shadowing helps prepare future workforce

An educated and prepared workforce is a significant need across South Dakota. Career-readiness programs for students in our K-12 education system are one tool we can use to address workforce challenges. Career-readiness programs help our students understand how to plan for their future and be successful in the workplace.

students will see the amazing career opportunities available... and will choose to stay here after they graduate.

This year, Junior Achievement is piloting the JA Job Shadow program for 125 students at three Sioux Falls high schools. There have been job shadow programs in the past, but there is currently a need in our local schools and JA is happy to partner with them to provide this opportunity for students. The JA Job Shadow program provides students the opportunity to enter a Sioux Falls business and participate in a two-to-three hour job shadow experience. It also helps them understand career planning and information about the skills they will need to be successful in the workplace. The goal of this program is to encourage students to experience their dream career to determine if it is a good fit for them before they begin formal education to obtain that career. We also hope that through their shadowing experience, students will see the amazing career opportunities available in Sioux Falls and across South Dakota, and will choose to stay here after they graduate.

At times, the students will return from the job shadow experience with confidence that this is the career path for them. They can then plan to obtain the education and/or training needed to work in that career after high school. For some students, the job shadow experience will open their eyes to the realities of that career, and they may decide that it is not the correct path for them. They can then reflect on other interest areas and consider other opportunities for their future. Both outcomes are positive. The students who love the job shadow experience and feel that career is right for them can begin planning their future immediately. Those students who determine the career they shadowed is not right for them have time while they are still in high school to explore other ideas, and they will avoid spending time and money on post-secondary classes that may lead to a career that is not a good fit.

To help high school students further develop their work-readiness skills and career and education plans, Junior Achievement is seeking business partners around the area who are willing to host students for the two-to-three hour job shadow experience. The shadow experiences will take place between December and March. All students in the program will participate in a required JA session prior to their job shadow to ensure they are prepared to get the most out of the experience. Junior Achievement hopes to grow the program to impact additional students in future years, so partnerships with Sioux Falls businesses and organizations in all career fields will be needed. If your business is interested in hosting a student, please contact the JA office at (605) 336-7318.

Junior Achievement has been preparing South Dakota students to be successful in work and in life for 50 years. This year, nearly 55,000 students in 35 communities will learn from community volunteers about money, careers, ethics and owning a business. We are proud to be a partner in preparing students to enter the workforce, and the JA Job Shadow program will take the lessons out of the classroom and into the community.


Kayla Eitreim is the President of Junior Achievement South Dakota.

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