Area businesses are helping local high school students discover their career options through a hands-on career exploration program called Exploring. The Exploring program is designed to help shape the workforce of tomorrow by engaging and mentoring today’s youth in career and life-enhancing opportunities. There are five Exploring programs kicking off this fall in the Dubuque and surrounding area representing different career fields including diesel technician, nursing, law enforcement, engineering, and architecture.

The Exploring program is a unique hands-on program. While a few meetings have classroom aspects, most focus on having Explorers participate in interactive activities that are part of the career field they are interested in. These activities include sketching & designing a building, testing variances in engineered products, conducting fingerprinting and traffic stops, changing a tire on a tractor-trailer, and much more.

 In addition to the hands-on activities, Explorers benefit from interacting with industry leaders. Leaders support the Explorers by sharing insights into how they started their career, what classes they should take now, and what post-high school paths will point them in the right direction. Some Exploring leaders take part in volunteering for the program because they were an Explorer themselves and attribute their career choices to the Exploring program.

 Exploring Committee Chair, Michele Malone, says, “Exploring helps bridge the gap between what students think a career will be like and what the job actually entails. For some students, it encourages them along their path. For others, it shows a change in direction on their path may provide a better fit for them.”

 The many benefits of knowing your career path before graduating high school speak for themselves. Benefits such as knowing what type of post-high school education you should look at (college, university, trade school, military, or straight to the workforce) ease the pressure of having so many options available. Taking courses now to reduce the numbers needed in college or trade school provides financial and time management benefits. Other benefits include knowing what internships you should be looking for, and finding out which volunteer programs will benefit your resume.

 Exploring is a hands-on career exploration program for young men and women ages 14-20 who have completed the 8th grade. Exploring is a part of the Northeast Iowa Council, Boy Scouts of America headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa.

For more information, contact Anna Hudak CEO/Scout Executive 563.556.4343

anna.hudaks@scouting.org