For this year’s high school graduates, the job search could be hard labor

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

After graduation, many local seniors are taking a road that will lead them straight out of the Miss-Lou.

&uot;Most of our kids are planning on going away to college or the armed services,&uot; Vidalia High School Principal Rick Brown said.

The plans are the same at Natchez High School, counselor Iris Myles said.

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And though both schools are very proud of their college and military bound students, they’d both like to see more opportunities at home for the remainder of the graduates.

&uot;For those that stay here, that want to graduate and live in Natchez, I just don’t know where they’ll work,&uot; Myles said. &uot;I don’t know where the opportunities are for them.&uot;

Natchez High and the Win Job Center offered 15 students a leg-up this year as part of a program that bridges from high school to the workforce or college.

The program, limited to only 15, took students to the employment office for lessons on the computer system there and to familiarize them with the office.

The students heard from speakers on time management, finances and interviews. Myles said she’d love to see the program expand to help more students.

At VHS, students also learn about interview presentation skills, resumes and applications.

Nearly every year, 100 percent of Cathedral High School’s students head to a college, and most leave with a goal of getting away from Natchez, Counselor Penny Daggett said.

&uot;Once they marry and have a family they then realize Natchez wasn’t that bad,&uot; she said. &uot;A lot of kids will come back to Natchez. (Jobs) depend on what they are going into. If they are in education or the medical field they think they can come back.&uot;

Other occupations often can’t find work here though since the major industries have closed, Daggett said.

Myles said she fears most of the job seeking skills her students have learned will have to be put to use in other towns though.

&uot;I don’t see where the job market in Natchez is just looking for employees,&uot; she said. &uot;I feel opportunities here are limited, even for those with college degrees.

&uot;I’d love for different businesses in Natchez to recruit here. We have some bright kids that would make good employees.&uot;