Case Study: Business Partnerships
Career planning starts early at Unadilla Valley
College and career planning at Unadilla Valley Central School starts early, thanks to a partnership with CORE.
The district celebrated its second successful College and Career Day in March, an event developed in partnership with CORE for junior high and high school students.
During College and Career Day, students in grades seven through 11 embarked on field trips. They spent half the day at a college campus. For the second half of the day, they went to businesses as a group to learn about occupations.
Seniors chose from among nearly 50 different jobs for career shadowing from local workplaces covering a broad spectrum.
Sixth-graders heard from guest speakers, including Steve Palmatier from Commerce Chenango and Bruce Erath from the Voss Group. They also had the opportunity to do job shadowing in the cafeteria and did a job tour around the schoo.
For UV Superintendent Robert Mackey, the event is a vital part of the school’s responsibility to its students and community.
“We have an obligation, not only to provide a high level education to all students, but also to try to improve the economy locally — not just with what we do in the classroom, but in the preparation we give our students,” Mackey explained.
And CORE, Mackey said, has been instrumental in helping the district find ways to make that happen through events such as the College and Career Day. Through CORE, Mackey and his staff have been able to “start more conversations” with local business leaders to gain a better understanding of what employers in the region are looking for.
“That’s the benefit of working with CORE — they understand business, and they understand education. They have one foot in both worlds, and they can put us in a room with business leaders, and together we can create something better than anything else that’s out there today,” Mackey said.
“Data shows that our students are not getting significant levels of exposure to opportunities in the world beyond their own microcosm,” said Student Advocate Kevin Nial, one of the organizers of College and Career Day. “It is important to show kids opportunities that they possibly did not even know existed, to show them things they may not otherwise have had a chance to see. If kids see a college campus or a career opportunity it might just spark a goal and a resulting lifelong adventure.”