OPINION: Workforce Development Day debuts with mixed results at GJHS

The new event exposes students to careers and college options


Submitted Photo

Students listen to author and motivational speaker Brooks Harper in the auditorium as part of Workforce Development Day. Harper encouraged students to find their talents. Many found his speech to be a highlight of the first-year event, held Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The first ever Workforce Development Day was held at Grand Junction High School on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

I thought it was an interesting event but there were some gaping issues with the whole thing. The whole idea was a good idea but there were some rough spots. But seeing as this is the first year of doing this if they continue to do this into next year I think it can be improved immensely.

The first thing I liked about it was the guest speaker Brooks Harper. I normally am not a fan of student seminars or meetings. But when he started talking I knew that this would be a completely different experience. He brought a different type of energy to the seminar and it was the first time in a long time I had fun at a school speech. Harper truly provided a memorable experience for me and my friends alike. He made me want to interact with the first part of his speech where he asked us to name the brand. The lessons and advice from his stories gave me hope for what I want to do in life.

But as amazing as the speech was, the day had its downfalls.The Advisory portions of the day were easily the worst. The first paper we had gave us about an hour and 45 mins to complete. But my class got it done in 20 minutes so we spent the rest of the time in the room doing nothing. Other students I could tell were bored. Luckily, I was entertained with my Nintendo 3DS because I had the foresight that there probably wouldn’t be a lot to do.

My solution to this would be not to assign more work but to simply have something that the teachers can do with the students. Like maybe play a game or watch a movie. And I’m sure some classes did that but my Advisory teacher didn’t have that option. So other students (me included after my DS battery died) spent their time doing nothing and being bored. But at the same time this was my sophomore experience and could be completely different from other students and grades. 

Another problem is the career fair was a great idea with OK execution. The career fair was a great idea but the Passport really dragged it down for me. It made me feel like I had to talk to people even though I didn’t want to. I get it’s meant to be a way to get students to interact with business but I just feel like there could be another way of doing this.

Another problem I had was the noise and I know that’s hard to prevent with high school kids. What if next year they  try to have some booths outside? I do realize that the rain this year could affect next year but there are a couple of protected spots from the rain outside. I think this would help with noise and crowd control because it felt really smooshed in the gym.

I thought that the career fair was a great idea so me and my fellow students could see what their futures could look like. One of my main problems with school is how does this prepare me for the real world and I must say this day answered that question wonderfully. I thought they had a nice variety of tables and booths. The people at the tables were nice and friendly and it was a good time overall.

It might come as a surprise but organizers are already working on improving this program 

“We’re excited on how much we can improve this,” said GJHS teacher Brenda Pomeroy, one of the organizers of this event. 

Pomeroy was already considering feedback from the event when I was asked about it.

“I can tell you right now it is to figure out logistically how we can invite more people without the space restrictions,” Pomeroy said.

GJHS students listen to a presentation during the Career Fair portion of Workforce Development Day. Students were exposed to college and career ideas throughout the event. (Submitted Photo)
Students mingle in the gym from station-to-station during Workforce Development Day. It was the first year for the event at Grand Junction High School. (Submitted Photo)