The Gaston College Work-Based Learning program provides invaluable help to students seeking potential employers.
The program recently held a job fair at the college. According to Gaston College spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett, the event was a big success.
“The Work-Based Learning (or WBL) program at Gaston College allows students to gain hands-on experience and connect with professionals in their career field while earning college credit,” Pickett explained. “In effect, the company worksite becomes the classroom, where a student sets and completes measurable learning objectives or goals to work toward over the course of the semester.”
The WBL program offers advantages to students and the companies that hire them. Students gain an understanding of the companies’ culture; improve soft skills such as communication and teamwork; and learn about the world of work.
Companies that hire WBL students reap many benefits. These include introductions to company policies, work ethics, requirements and operations; companies evaluating prospective employees’ aptitudes and capabilities before making long-term commitments; reductions to personnel recruitment costs; and students becoming ambassadors for said companies and so much more.
Dixie Meeks was hired at the Lincoln County Department of Social Services after her first several days of interning there as a WBL student. As an income maintenance case worker, Meeks helps with the department’s subsidized child care program. Meeks is working toward her degree in the health and human services program at Gaston College.
“I am very thankful for the opportunities given me with both the Work-Based Learning program and the facility that I was placed in,” she said. “I am learning a lot of technical things, such as documentation and client interaction, which I will need in my career. I am looking forward to what’s ahead.”
Joy Morrow is the co-ordinator for the Work-Based Learning program. Morrow is also a job-placement developer.
“Work-Based Learning is a great opportunity for our students, and it becomes a working interview for our employers,” she said. “Students get practical hands-on work experience, and employers get to see the students’ work ethic and skill sets before making a permanent commitment to hire. I take pride in helping make the perfect match between the student and the employer, and it is very rewarding when a student is hired permanently through their WBL site.”
For additional information, see the Website at www.gaston.edu/workbased-learning-placement/students/work-based-learning/ or contact Morrow by e-mail or telephone respectively at email@example.com or (704) 922-6360.
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