Teachers go on 'field trip' to look for jobs for students

CONCORD, California -- Thirty-one teachers in the East Bay went on a field trip, looking for potential jobs for their students.

Called BEST, the Business and Educators Shadowing for Tomorrow program sends high school teachers in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District into laboratories, medical clinics, and other businesses to learn more about how industries are changing.

"What do they want from their prospective employees," said Northgate High School Teacher Michelle Carmon. "It gives us a new way to go back to the classroom and teach those items that might not have been touched upon."

School District officials believe kids will get more relevant and current practices. As the explored beyond the classroom, some teachers got a firsthand look at a commercial printing business.

Others toured a hotel to learn about jobs in hospitality. Another group stopped by Buchanan field for a look at the new NetSuite operations.

What will they tell their students back in class tomorrow?

"I'm going to tell them it is inspiring to live and be here," said Cindy Gershen, who teaches at Mt. Diablo High School. "There are lots of job opportunities."

Last year, these career field trips for teachers led to digital arts students designing and pitching real-life marketing campaigns for a local mall. This year, the goal is to develop high school internships to benefit both college-bound and career-bound students.

"One of the greatest things from this is building partnerships," said teacher Kevin Fuller. "Some of the people we've met today, and different places we've seen, are all opportunities for our students."

Employers also emphasized "classic" job skills, like having a good attitude and being on time.
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