Luncheon pairs hungry jobseekers with employers
Select students in the CTE programs from Byron P. Steele High School and Samuel Clemens High School were given the opportunity to visit with community professionals at a luncheon sponsored by the Cibolo Enrichment Foundation on January 18, 2023 at Magnolia Haus restaurant. The MLK Dream Week Luncheon, sponsored by Mr. Curtis Lindesay and his wife, Willette, brought representatives from banking, insurance, cosmetology, legal services and law enforcement, plumbing, social media and the military. All were made available to answer questions about their chosen profession.
“Take this opportunity right now to share your knowledge and your wisdom to all these young minds,” Lindesay said, exhorting the industry representative in attendance. “Dr. King has always inspired us to dream. But he’s always encouraged us to make our dreams a reality.”
Students obtained business cards and utilized their networking skills, and worked to find the right opportunities to further their education and start their careers. Guests were able to suggest resources to students and give advice on higher education or professional training for current and future high-paying jobs.
Sydney Matak, senior at Clemens HS, who is interested in accounting, made a beeline toward the table where Mark Sunderland and Jan Tyler, CEO and Senior Vice-President of Schertz Bank & Trust, respectively. “My interest started a couple of years ago,” Matak said. “I’ve been looking to grow my experience and learn from professionals to help further my career.” Sunderland definitely saw it as a win-win. “It’s a great opportunity for us to meet with the kids and the kids with us,” he said. “They can be potential employees now or in the future as well.”
Meanwhile, Aaron Jennings, a senior at Steele HS, an aspiring author, made the most of his opportunity even though the writer he came to see was unable to attend. Jennings intended to meet up with a social media expert to learn how to market his stories when they are ready to go to print. “If I want to publish a book, I have to be able to get it out there,” he said.
Richard Nannery, a representative from Local 142 of the Plumbers & Pipefitters union, did his best to urge the students to consider manual trades. Salaries for a first-year plumbing apprentice start out at $17 an hour, and by the time the five year learning program has been completed, an apprentice can make $27 an hour. Wages increase substantially from there once an apprentice becomes a journeyman.
“Our contract right now is $35 an hour,” Nannery said. “And that’s about to boost. That’s greater than the median in San Antonio, which is about $25 an hour.”
Lindesay, whose son is a Steele HS graduate, hopes this inaugural event will spur on a greater partnership with SCUC, where district graduates can hear about the myriad of opportunities available to them, whether they seek a college degree or prefer to jump into the workforce immediately.
“That’s what Dr. King wants us to do,” Lindesay said. “As each individual grows, we all grow and we all work together and become a better society, and a better community and a better nation.”