WORK program looking for future high school students to participate

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. (WBOY) — United High School’s WORK program recruits future seniors in Harrison County to receive credit into a comprehensive program where they gain work experience.

Students taking these two courses will learn and practice soft skills, complete community service assignments, and develop and manage in-house businesses. Each class can be taken for school credit and will meet two to three times a week. Some of the class work topics include:

  • Work ethic
  • Personal skills
  • Conflict
  • Management of time
  • Personal finance
  • resume
  • Organizing and conducting interviews

WORK means Owork, Oopportunities, Rresources, and Kknowledge. When applying to the program, Class Coaches are looking for those who want to learn job skills, plan to work after graduation, want to improve their self-confidence, and experience different types of jobs.

All Harrison County high schools are eligible for students to participate. It accepts 20 students per semester: 10 students for a morning course and 10 for an afternoon course. The first course takes place in the fall and the second in the spring. A school bus will pick up students on their way to class and drop them off at United High School, where the class takes place.

During both courses, students will have multiple opportunities to experience work assignments in local schools and businesses. Some of the local businesses that previous students have gained experience in are:

  • The Pont Sports Complex
  • sam’s club
  • Blue Bird
  • Harrison County Humane Society
  • Harry Green 7 acres
  • Tractor Supply Company
  • Hampton Inn
  • price cutter
  • Fitness at any time

Matt McCullough, one of the WORK program coaches, said the class prepares students to enter the workforce after graduation. He said, “A lot of students need this hands-on learning. They learn through the experience of doing a job, not just the job but the satisfaction of doing it.

Jasalyn Arnett is a high school student from Lincoln attending the program this semester. She said that her participation in this program confirmed to her that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Asked why other students should take this course, she told 12 News: ‘It will definitely give them more skills, not so inside of work but outside of work. It will also make them more independent, more competent, and, you know, just more social with others.

Jolynn Shaffer is a United High School senior who also participates in the program. Shaffer said it gave him new perspectives. Initially, she didn’t like children, but while working with them in this class, she decided that she would like to go into social work after graduation.

If you are interested in participating in this course, you can ask a teacher or school officials for guidelines and additional information. After talking with school officials, case managers will send a referral to the work coaches, and the coaches will come back with an interview date for the students.

When preparing for an interview, professional coaches ask students to wear clean, neat clothes and think about how they are preparing for graduation. During the interview, students will be asked about life at school and at home, why students want to participate in the program, what their professional interests are, as well as their previous work experience.

Ryan H. Bowman