Helping Students Navigate Careers
Navigating careers in a complex job market is much more difficult for today’s students than in the past. Their talents are in high demand and they have choices that were not available to their parents or grandparents.
High school students need the chance to explore career paths and options before they graduate, apply for jobs, or invest in secondary education. This is especially true in today’s labor market where job opportunities are plentiful. Studies have shown that the more information and real-life experience they can have with employers and professionals before making their choice, the more successful and long-term their careers will be.
That’s why groups like Bluff Country Career Navigators are so important. Bluff Country Career Navigators supports the Caledonia, Houston, LaCrescent-Hokah, Lewiston-Altura, Mabel-Canton, Rushford-Peterson, and Spring Grove, Minnesota school districts. It is a part of the Southeast Service Cooperative, whose focus is on partnering schools with local businesses to offer students first-hand experience, provide youth career exploration, and connect employers with skilled, potential employees in rural communities of Southeast Minnesota.
Harmony Enterprises & Harmony Kids Learning Center Host Tours
This November, both Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids Learning Center partnered with BCC to provide educational tours of each facility to 50 students from five regional participating schools in the career navigator program.
The focus of the tours was two-fold:
- To learn about the benefits of careers in manufacturing and child care, and;
- To allow students to see first-hand and interact with career professionals in a variety of roles and departments at Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids Learning Center.
Benefits of Manufacturing & Child Care Careers
The tour began with a brief interactive video presentation about both Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids and then moved to the benefits of careers in manufacturing and child care. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to:
- Consistent Income And Competitive Benefits
- Local Opportunities For Employment
- Safe Work Environment
- Flexible Scheduling
- Choice Of Multiple Areas Of Career Interest
- Technology Growth/New Sectors
- Minimal Student Debt
- Supplemental Income For Farmers, Retirees
- Benefit To Economy/Quality Of Life
One of the neatest things about manufacturing is the overall benefit to the economy and quality of life that it provides. According to the Roosevelt Institute, manufacturing is central to the economy in six main ways:
- Manufacturing has been the path to development.
- Manufacturing is the foundation of global “Great Power”.
- Manufacturing is the most important cause of economic growth.
- Global trade is based on goods, not services.
- Services are dependent on manufactured goods.
- Manufacturing creates jobs.
Following the initial video presentation, groups were given extensive tours of both facilities, taking time to stop and learn about each department. Students were given the opportunity to talk with employees and ask questions. It is through this type of interaction that students see these careers through a realistic lens.
Harmony Careers Explored
Harmony Enterprises manufactures the widest range of waste and recycling equipment available on the market. To do that requires a dedicated team of professionals in a variety of career fields. Some of the careers that the students witnessed during their tour included:
Production/Operations: Operations Managers/Production Managers, Fabrication, Burn Table Programmers & Operators, Press Brake Operators, Saw Operators, Welders, Clean Up Room Employees, Painters, Hydraulic & Mechanical Assemblers, Electrical Panel Builders, Shipping & Receiving Specialists, Purchasing Managers, Inventory & Parts Personnel, Production Schedulers, and Safety & Maintenance Coordinators.
Sales & Marketing: Inside Sales Specialist, National Sales Manager, and New Business Development/Marketing.
Front Office: Accounting and Human Resources.
Customer Service: Freight & Logistics, Customer Account Management, Technical Support, and Field Service Technician.
Harmony Kids Learning Center: Center Director, Classroom Teachers, Teacher Assistants, Teacher Aides, Newborn Child Care, Food Service/Cook, and Custodians.
According to BCC Youth Workforce Navigator, MaryAnne Smith, “Students are excited to see how skills and knowledge from the classroom translate into real career fields. The Bluff Country Collaborative is thankful for a partnership with Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids Learning Center for giving youth the opportunity for first-hand experience of the wide range of careers in manufacturing and child care businesses. We don’t know what we don’t know, and students are no different. Tours are valuable because youth engage their senses and experience careers that exist in their community.”
“Students are excited to see how skills and knowledge from the classroom translate into real career fields. The Bluff Country Collaborative is thankful for a partnership with Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids Learning Center for giving youth the opportunity for first-hand experience of the wide range of careers in manufacturing and child care businesses.”
Bluff Country Youth Workforce Navigator
Thank You to the Bluff Country Career Navigators, participating students, teachers, and all of Harmony Enterprises and Harmony Kids Learning Center employees. You are shining examples of our core values and why our core focus remains career, community, culture, and company. Well done!
Interested In A Harmony Career?
Click these links below to see our open positions and to apply online!