Growing world of work for students

Published 10:53 pm Sunday, April 29, 2018

This has been another rewarding week for Natchez United and the Natchez-Adams County Educational Development Foundation. More career professionals have joined our community coalition for our Middle School Career Exploration Event, Tour 2018 — Passport to the World of Work in Natchez-Adams County. We are so pleased to inform you several new additions of support from some of our previously underrepresented Career Clusters.

Fire and EMS

Robert Bradford, our local EMA Director, has offered support for complimenting the presentations of Bennie Boone from AMR and Patricia Lozon from Air-Evac to fully capture the local opportunities in Emergency Management and Response. A constantly regenerating pool of career professionals in this area is, of course, a significant need in any community.

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Health care

With a constant awareness for shortages in the field of medicine, we are impressed with the fact that the Health Care career cluster has expanded considerably. We have shared with you our excitement over the students visiting the simulation areas of the ASU School of Nursing, and more nursing students and faculty have joined the cause to facilitate the visits. Cheryl Givens has informed us that she is helping to compliment the physical therapy opportunities with the addition of some of her colleagues in the field of occupational therapy, as well.

But that’s not all — Just as these careers represent restorative services, we also now are pleased to report that there will also be a health and wellness area including preventative services through professionals like Josh Craig from Concordia Fit with cardio and resistance training as well as zumba; Jenna Aldridge from Studio 411 Club Fitness who uses pilates and spin for complete health awareness in body, mind and spirit; and Lee Carby from Satya Yoga with poses, stretches and breathing exercises to develop mental strength and discipline. Due to a growing national awareness of health consciousness and maintenance, these career areas are expanding quickly; therefore, the need for a professional work force is consequently increasing!

Social services

Michael Gray has enlisted Sherlene Vince from Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Center to send a team of mental health professionals to inform students about the mental health career opportunities in the Social Services Career Cluster.

Law and government

This past Tuesday at our meeting, Helen Smith reminded us that a critical area of need for professionals locally as well as statewide and nationally is in the field of education. We made a few calls and are pleased to announce that Tracey Miller, recruiter from the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Teacher Effectiveness, will be joining us. She is employed with a primary responsibility for inspiring young minds to consider careers in an area that is often underrepresented in career awareness activities. No doubt, we will do well to start stimulating thought in our bright young people to consider joining the ranks of those who provide the basic training for all other careers — Teachers!

Also, Doug McCallister is working to recruit more representatives from the armed services, as they offer invaluable service to our country and receive wonderful opportunities to further their education and careers.

Additional areas of need

Several members of our team are still working to recruit career professionals in the areas of arts, hospitality & tourism; banking & financial planning; accident/health/life/fire & casualty/auto insurance; law & government, law enforcement and skilled trades.

We welcome your input in identifying other career professionals and referring them to us for inclusion in this event. With the goal of this event being to inspire students to start considering “what could be” in the Natchez-Adams County career areas and the involvement of local professionals, we are confident that it will be a success.

If you believe your career should be represented and introduced to students, please contact us at or through our Natchez United Facebook Page, and join us at our weekly meetings.

Marvin H. Jeter III, Ph.D., is a consultant for the Natchez-Adams County Educational Development Foundation.