K-64 brings education, business, and government together to connect people of all ages with the skills needed to fill jobs and build careers in Catawba County.

Summer break is a time for high school students to unwind, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved break from the academic rigors of the school year. However, it’s also an excellent opportunity for them to engage in activities that can enhance their career prospects and develop vital workforce-related skills. Whether through internships, volunteering, part-time jobs, or job shadowing, these summer activities can have a lasting impact on a student’s future.

  1. Internships are a powerful way for high school students to gain practical work experience and make industry connections. By seeking out internships in industries or organizations that align with their career interests, students can acquire firsthand, practical knowledge about their desired fields. Internships allow them to apply classroom learning to real-world situations, develop essential skills, and explore their passions in a professional environment. Additionally, internships provide a platform to establish professional networks, which can prove invaluable when seeking future employment opportunities.
  2. Volunteering is another avenue for high school students to develop workforce-related skills while making a positive impact on their communities. By actively seeking volunteer opportunities that align with their career goals, students can gain relevant experience and enhance their skill sets. For example, volunteering at a local hospital or clinic can provide exposure to the healthcare industry, allowing students to develop interpersonal and communication skills while also gaining insight into the day-to-day realities of the field. Volunteering not only helps students build their resumes; it also cultivates a sense of empathy and social responsibility, qualities that are highly valued in any professional setting.
  3. Part-time jobs offer students the chance to earn income while developing valuable transferable skills. Whether it’s working in retail, food service, or a local business, part-time jobs provide opportunities for students to enhance their teamwork, customer service, and time-management abilities. These roles teach responsibility, punctuality, and accountability, all of which are highly sought-after qualities in the professional world. Part-time jobs also expose students to diverse workplace dynamics, teaching them how to adapt to different environments and work alongside people from various backgrounds.
  4. Job shadowing is an excellent way for high school students to explore different career paths and gain insights into specific professions. By reaching out to professionals in fields they are curious about, students can arrange to shadow them for a day or a week. Job shadowing allows students to observe professionals in action, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges involved in various careers. This firsthand exposure helps students make informed decisions about their future paths and may even inspire them to pursue fields they hadn’t previously considered.
  5. K-64 partners with and supports our local school systems, colleges, and universities (Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover and Hickory Public Schools, Catawba Valley Community College, and Lenoir-Rhyne University. These educational institutions support students in their pursuit of skill-building and career awareness through work-based learning opportunities highlights the commitment to providing students with valuable work-based learning experiences. By participating in internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing, and other avenues, approximately 500 students from Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover and Hickory Public Schools, CVCC, and L-R will gain practical skills, expand their career awareness, and be better prepared for their future endeavors. Way to go!