High School Seniors Get Ready For Work

Lee County high school seniors are getting ready to graduate this spring, and that means they'll either go to college or enter the workforce.  The Opelika Chamber of Commerce is helping them prepare.

"I had wanted to apply to this so I can get a better education, figure out what goals I wanted to achieve, what do I want to be," said Cotillia Miles, an Opelika senior.

The Student-to-Career Transition Workshop is one way the Opelika Chamber helps students get ready to leave these walls.

"Setting goals, budgets, how to get a job, how to keep a job and what to wear to a job. All those important things that involve getting out of high school," said Tipi Miller, Opelika Chamber.

Jeffery Emerick is deciding between his love of graphic design or becoming a chef.

"I've just always enjoyed cooking ever since I was nine-years-old. It's always been a passion of mine," Emerick said.

He said one thing he's learned here is to manage his money so he can pursue his dream.

"Don't get a credit card, truthfully. Keep money saved up in case anything happens. Try to save money, and be prepared for anything," said Emerick.

The seniors also shadow a professional.

"I'll be doing accounting, but my heart and soul is in nursing. I'd really love to be a travel nurse because they get to help lots of people and travel around," Miles said.

While the budget and interview tips are helpful, students are not the only ones who benefit from the workshop.

"It's also wonderful for our industries and our smaller businesses. This is their workforce, and it can be their potential workforce. We've had people go through the program that have been offered the job," Miller said.

The Opelika Chamber of Commerce workshop is held every year for Lee County seniors, and about 40 are chosen by their guidance counselors each time.