On Tuesday, February 28th, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Raleigh Stonehenge branch received a visit from First Gentleman Bob Eaves to show his support of SECU’s participation in the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) Students@Work Week. During his visit, First Gentleman Eaves spoke with students from West Millbrook Middle School who were on hand to learn about the importance of education to achieve future career opportunities. Credit union personnel gave a branch tour to the group of seventh grade students, allowing them to see various SECU branch career options first-hand.
Introducing Eaves and talking to students about SECU was branch Senior Vice President Karyn Roth, who stated, “The Students@Work initiative provides SECU with an opportunity to help students explore career options as their interests develop and is an excellent way for students to observe the role that education plays in pursuing and preparing for a successful career.” Hearing about SECU’s continuing employee education program requirements, the students recognized that ongoing education is a direct link to continued success in the workplace. “Education doesn’t stop once you are out of school,” added Roth.
Initiated by Eaves in 2010, the Students@Work program focuses on raising North Carolina’s graduation rate by collaborating with educators and local business communities to provide job shadowing or mentoring opportunities to students in real workplace settings. During Students@Work Week last year, SECU personnel provided workplace tours and presentations to 11,650 students and anticipates exceeding that number for 2012. SECU branches statewide are participating in the week long program running from February 27th through March 2nd. Continued success of the joint effort between Eaves, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, and the N.C. Business Committee for Education led to this year’s participation by 62 companies covering all 100 North Carolina counties, nearly doubling last year’s figure.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, more than 25% of North Carolina students do not complete high school. The Students@Work initiative centers its efforts around middle school students because middle school is a crucial time for dropout prevention. “It’s important that the business community understand that they are vital stakeholders in education,” said Eaves. “Job shadowing opportunities can help students develop goals with the knowledge that their education will be relevant in the workplace.”