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Junior Achievement of Alabama Inspires Workers of the Future

Did you know that only 74.5% of Alabama high school graduates are meeting the standards required for College and Career Readiness.

Why this matters to JA and why it should matter to you?

All companies are looking for a dependable, highly skilled workforce. There are a lot of great companies in Birmingham and across our state, and they continue to grow and expand. Junior Achievement believes providing young people with real-world learning experiences is key to improving this gap. We want to help ensure that the future workforce, our students, are ready for the next phase of their lives and have the capacity to pursue their educational goals and realize long-term career opportunities.

How is JA helping to prepare students to enter the workforce?

Junior Achievement of Alabama has launched the JA Job Shadow initiative with the goal to provide Job Shadow opportunities to 400 students across the greater Birmingham area during the 2017-2018 academic year. While the Job Shadow program has been around for years, JA of Alabama has never focused on providing this program until now after receiving high demand from school system Career Coaches. The JA Job Shadow experience offers students a unique opportunity that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom by allowing students to learn about a company or career by experiencing it in person in the shadow of working professionals during a one-day company visit. Prior to the company visit, students participate in 2 in-class sessions to help them prepare for the site-visit. This helps students recognize the link between academic subjects and the actual workplace skills they will need to be successful. While spending a day at a company site, students are exposed to real-world of learning and technology. Students learn dressing and speaking professionally, being on time and working as a team, are just as important as a strong academic foundation. They also have an opportunity to learn about businesses that are in their community.

More than Just Bucket Trucks…Altec Provides Job Shadow Experience

Altec, a board company, has a history of supporting JA and their partnership provided JA students with a valuable experience that will last a lifetime. On Wednesday, September 20, Altec employees took a day from a busy storm recovery season to share their knowledge, time, and experience to help JA kick off the year with the first JA Job Shadow event. Thanks to Altec, twenty-six students from Wenonah High School had the opportunity to shadow several departments as well as tour the facility and see the wide array of careers that are available. During their visit, students heard from Human Resources Generalist, Kelly Westin, who shared job hunting skills, the qualities Altec looks for in employees, and the multitude of benefits Altec’s employees receive. When asked what made Altec want to host a JA Job Shadow, Kelly said, “We view people as our greatest strength, and working in HR the employees are our customers. Altec has a culture of placing the customers first and we really believe in giving back to the community in which we serve. So, hosting students was a great opportunity to give back while also helping students learn about careers in their area [city].” After touring, Jeremiah J., an 11th grade student exclaimed, “I’ve seen their trucks around town but never knew they had their own company and I didn’t realize they did so much [referring to the many jobs he had an opportunity to shadow].”




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What other companies are hosting this year?

We are grateful to our board companies and industry leaders who have opened their doors to high schools in the Greater Birmingham Area. We look forward to giving students the opportunity to learn more about the following companies:


Alabama Power

Altec Industries


Cayenne Creative

Coca Cola

O’Neal Steel

Royal Cup

Thompson Tractor

How can your company be a part of the JA Job Shadow initiative?

Almost any workplace is a potential job shadowing site. Help inspire youth to look beyond high school and dream for a bigger and brighter future through the JA Job Shadow initiative. Your participation will help JA continue to make great strides in delivering the workforce that will power Alabama’s economic future. To learn more about how you join the JA Job Shadow inititative, share your career passion, and company brand, contact Susan Garrett, Susan.Garrett@ja.org or 205.909.0335. 

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