Daily Press (Sunday)

Businesses can boost career options for teens


on the Virginia Advisory Committee for Career & Technical Education and is the workforce/education chair on the Hampton Roads Chamber Norfolk board.

She conducted two forums, one in South Hampton Roads and another on the Peninsula, with the ultimate goal of connecting local businesses to career counselors to introduce students to careers they may not be aware of, she said.

“There are hundreds of high school juniors and seniors who have no idea how many skilled technical careers are available in our area,” Long-Molnar said.

At the same time, local industry employers, such as Newport News Shipbuildi­ng,

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have continuing needs for skilled workers.

In order to offer students an opportunit­y to see various industries at work, businesses are needed to offer students opportunit­ies to understand skilled trade careers with job shadowing, internship­s, externship­s and group visits, Long-Molnar said.

Each forum brought together about 100 people in education and various industries to develop work-based learning opportunit­ies for high school students.

She decided to organize the forums in 2022 after serving one year on the state advisory committee. She realized there was little conversati­on between businesses, high schools, workforce developmen­t leaders and colleges, she said.

“I wanted to do something besides advise. I saw a need for there to be much more

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