Submitted by Pat Szpekowski
Updated 2/4/2022 11:38 PM
Experience will better assist students in career opportunities
Over 30 counselors from all five Elgin Area School District U-46 high schools experienced their own career exploration day at two local businesses, Elgin Sweeper in Elgin and Hoffer Plastics in South Elgin, and the career and technical education labs at Elgin and South Elgin high schools on Friday, Jan. 28.
The goal of the event, which was sponsored by Elgin’s Alignment Collaborative for Education in partnership with U-46, was to bridge the gap between the career and technical education programs offered at the high schools and available careers in the automotive, engineering, welding, and manufacturing industries.
Alexa Charsha-Hahn, lead counselor at U-46, endorsed the day highlighting that “counselors from this experience will be better equipped to guide students toward courses preparing them for highly technical professions.”
In touring Elgin Sweeper, a leader in the sweeper industry for more than 100 years, and Hoffer Plastics, a family-owned business and leader in the custom plastic injection molding industry, the counselors learned about future job projections, skills required and opportunities for career advancement.
Leadership from both businesses welcomed the opportunity.
“Alignment and U-46 are championing the easiest and most impactful ways we can give back to our local community,” said Lisa Baran, director of human resources, Elgin Sweeper. “We are excited and humbled to showcase Elgin Sweeper to the next generation of manufacturing talent.”
Hoffer Plastics, a founding partner of Alignment Collaborative for Education, was honored to host representatives from U-46 and Alignment.
“We’re excited about sharing the many wonderful career opportunities manufacturing offers young people, whose high-tech skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and desire to give back could not be more welcomed or needed than they are today,” said Charlotte Hoffer-Canning, Chief Culture Officer, Hoffer Plastics.
“This opportunity for high school counselors helps strengthen their understanding that careers in manufacturing and technical education can begin and flourish while students are completing their high school experience,” said Nancy Coleman, executive director, Alignment Collaborative for Education.
The Alignment Collaborative for Education (ACE) mission is to align community resources and collaborate with organizations in support of public school strategies to raise student achievement; create responsible, productive, and contributing members of our society; and advance the economic and social well-being of communities served by Elgin Area School District U-46 in Illinois.
For more information, visit www.align4edu.org.