Lexington-Richland School District 5 program offers students work experience

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 8:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington-Richland School District 5 is helping students find a job within the district while they attend classes.

Students gained a unique opportunity at a job fair at Dutch Fork High School to explore job openings that allows them to get paid while at school. 

The career fair is open for current juniors and seniors across the district. Tentative job openings include student nutrition, custodial, clerical, landscaping, and more.

The student career fair was hosted by Lexington Richland 5′s First Job Initiative. The program allows for students to gain real work experience in the district with all positions starting at $9 an hour. The work hours are based on the students’ schedules, which the district tries to abide by throughout the school year.

“I was really excited because it gets kids to interact with their school more and their school resources,” Dutch Fork senior Luke Reeves said. “It also encourages kids to start getting a job and work which I think it’s really exciting.”

“I’ve been trying to get a job for a really, really, really long time,” Dutch Fork High School junior Kimberly Deris said. “When I heard about this in the announcements this morning, I was really stoked about it so that’s why I came over here and did it.”

Students will be partnered with an adult who serves as a mentor throughout the program. The district’s main goals are to prepare students to be college and career ready. Career and Technical Education Coordinator Charity Simmons said the purpose of this program is to pour back into the students to fulfill that goal.

“Our Superintendent had this vision to make sure that our students had the opportunity to work and actually we grow and mold them into employees to be prepared for the work force and so this is something that’s not going away,” Simmons said. “This is something that’s here to stay.”

Simmons also said some of the internship classes provide class credit for student workers. Students not enrolled in the class can still work as a student worker. For students graduating outside the program will receive a graduation cord that signifies them as district employees.

Students can catch the First Job Initiative at:

Spring Hill High School - Aug. 25

Chapin High School -  Aug. 28

Irmo High School - Aug. 30

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