Freshway associates recently had the opportunity to inspire local students at the Career Exploration Academy sponsored by The Workforce Partnership and the Shelby County United Way. The two-day event, held at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, gave students from Sidney Middle School and Sidney High School access to presenters who work in a variety of careers. Students each chose six careers to learn about in 20 minute sessions. The presenters at the event represented 14 local companies.
Representing Freshway Foods at the event were Tyler, Lauren, Renee and Tom. Tony Arnold, our Director of Human Resources, coordinated the event with The Workforce Partnership. We reached out to our presenters after the event and asked for their thoughts on presenting to the students.
Lauren presented on careers in Human Resources at the event. “This event helped students realize all of the employment opportunities that exist in the Shelby County area,” she said. “Many of the companies present offer great career opportunities for high school graduates.”
Lauren illustrated the importance of benefits, one of her areas of responsibility at Freshway, with the students. “I wanted the students to understand the importance of 401(k) retirement plans,” she explained. “I told them that if they start contributing to a 401(k) plan by age 22, they will retire a millionaire,” she added. “That seemed to catch their attention!”
Tyler presented on careers in Accounting. “Many of the student did not know what the field of Accounting was about,” he said. “Students had the opportunity to take in a great deal of knowledge.”
Tyler shared several examples of the large numbers he manages on a daily basis. “When I talked about the amount of water we use every year, I realized that the students were having trouble imagining the volume in gallons,” he explained. “I converted the gallons to an equivalent number of 20 ounce bottles of water,” he said. “The students found that easier to understand, because it was in a unit of measure that they see every day.”
Renee presented on careers in Food Science. “None of the students knew what a food scientist was when they came to my booth,” she said. “Several students told me afterwards that they would look into a career path with food.”
Renee demonstrated the principle of oxidation by cutting an apple in half and treating one half with lemon juice. The non-treated half turned brown as the students watched. “One of the most insightful questions I was asked was how I assist in preparing for an audit from a micro/food safety point of view,” she said. “This was from a student who was clearly interested in micro biology and how it relates to food science.”
Tom presented on careers in Supply Chain Management. “I was impressed by the number of students who plan to go to college,” he said. “This event really helped employers understand the needs and interests of their future workforce.”
Tom discussed the importance of technology to the future of the Supply Chain Management field. “I shared with the students how much of my daily job is technology related,” he explained. “No matter what career they eventually choose, technology will almost certainly be a part of it.”
Image credits: Top, courtesy of The Sidney Daily News. Photographed by Luke Gronneberg. All other images copyright Freshway Foods.