Career Connect invites students to explore

Program offers 30 sessions on wide range of jobs

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Students registering for this spring’s Career Connect sessions are so far most curious about culinary arts and forensic science. Those are among 23 different job fields available for Douglas County high schoolers to explore during the evening events.

The career exploration program is from 6-8 p.m. on Monday nights in April. The April 1 orientation is at Parker’s Chaparral High School, with career-specific sessions at the individual businesses.

In its fifth semester, the ever-lengthening menu of choices goes from A to V, including automotive technology, engineering, healthcare, law enforcement, construction management and veterinary medicine, among others.

“A very common combination seems to be a session called ‘Top Chef has to start somewhere’ and ‘CSI,’ or ‘What the coroner really does,’” said program coordinator Krista Zizzo. “The coroner’s session is proving to be very popular and is probably going to be one of the first to close.”

The program has moved away from its original format, which required students to attend four-week tracks on specific careers. Now, they can choose a different career track each week, or opt to attend only one session out of the four-week period.

Employers have responded strongly to Zizzo’s call for representation. Among the new businesses in the loop this spring is DirecTV, a direct broadcast satellite service provider that has a broadcast center in Castle Rock.

Director of broadcast operations Ron Sherrill says DirecTV’s processes jibe with the current educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“That’s the basis of everything we’re doing here,” he said. “We control over 2,500 channels out of here. We’re going to walk (students) through a beginning-to-end signal flow, how we receive our TV stations, how we put them back up to the satellite and down to the home.”

Sherrill saw participation in Career Connect as an opportunity.

“We’re a part of the community,” he said. “We want to give back to the community. Part of the way to do it right now is to let the students know what they’re facing when they walk out of a high school. If we can generate some excitement, hopefully they’re going to go off and get that education and maybe even come back and offer those skills to us when the time’s right.”

Registration for Career Connect continues through April. Students pay $10 for the first session, and $5 for every additional session. To register or for more information, visit www.dcefcolorado.org.

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