Lexington-Richland School District Five celebrated the first-ever First Jobs Signing Day on February 28. The First Jobs Initiative is a unique way to help the district with the nationwide labor shortage, as well as prepare students to be career ready.
“The First Jobs initiative is part of School District’s Five vision for loving and growing our students,” School District Five’s Career and Technical Education Coordinator Charity Simmons said. “The goal is to recognize all students’ accomplishments as they move from the classroom to the workplace. We want to highlight our students who are transitioning into the workforce in the same way that we celebrate a future collegiate athlete with a signing day ceremony.”
Jordon Buckson (Irmo High), Nyaveia Creech (Irmo High), Kaliah Denys (Dutch Fork High), Anna Fulmer (Chapin High), Aamani Gordon (Irmo High), Nevaeh Grooms (Irmo High), Aniyla Pardo (Chapin High), Tirzah Slagle (Spring Hill), and Ava Starnes (Chapin High) have signed contracts to work in School District Five.
The district students work in jobs in the transportation department, student nutrition department, clerical positions, as well as jobs in basic maintenance and landscaping. The objective of the initiative is to provide students ages 16 and older with state-approved work-based learning experiences in order to increase their career readiness and improve school operations.
Irmo High School student Nyaveia Creech is working as a clerical assistant and is grateful for this opportunity and is encouraging others to take part. “A lot of my peers and my friends are curious about what I am doing and I encourage them to apply because First Jobs is a really good experience because it prepares you for the real world,” Creech said.
Chapin High School student Aniyla Pardo is working as an assistant in the media center at her school. She says this job is perfect because her mother’s work hours do not allow her the flexibility to get a job after school.
“I am very excited to take part in the First Jobs in because it is a convenient way for me to make money and help people at the same time,” Pardo said. “I can work before school, during my study hall and also some time during lunch, so it is a relaxing way to make money without having to work late at a restaurant or a business after school.”
The job openings at the school district also provide students with a good alternative to other jobs in the area, which may require them to work late night shifts, weekends, and holidays.
School District Five hopes to empower students with the knowledge and career skills necessary to be successful in a dynamic and ever-changing global society.
“The employees of tomorrow are sitting in our classrooms today, so if we can take advantage of that we can help meet the employment needs of the district and we can also meet the college and career readiness needs of the student,” Superintendent Akil E. Ross, Sr. said. “To see this idea manifest today with these students is a dream come true!”’