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Groundhog Job Shadow Day

Groundhog Job Shadow Day provides young people with job shadowing experiences, where they can get up-close views of jobs they may want to pursue and can learn about particular industries and the careers within the industries. The day gets students thinking about what education and skills are necessary for particular jobs and helps them see the connection between academics and careers—between what they learn in school and the knowledge needed for a job. Groundhog Job Shadow Day shows students they have choices and helps to motivate them. It also builds community partnerships between schools and businesses and fosters positive relationships between young people and adults. It is not designed to just be a one-day event, but to encourage job shadowing throughout the year.

Groundhog Job Shadow Day takes place on the same date as Groundhog Day, with its name being a play off that holiday's name. On Groundhog Job Shadow Day, youth shadow workers at their jobs, while on Groundhog Day, groundhogs are brought outside and watched to see if they see their shadows. Before becoming a national observance in 1998, Groundhog Job Shadow Day was held on a local level. In 1996, the Boston Private Industry Council and Boston schools sponsored the first Groundhog Job Shadow Day, during which about 300 students from four high schools in Boston took part, shadowing public officials and workers from Boston businesses. The day was once again marked in Massachusetts in February 1997.

Later that year, the National Job Shadow Coalition was created, and they brought Groundhog Job Shadow Day to the national level the following year. The coalition originally consisted of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth (now called America's Promise Alliance); School-to-Work, which was a federal initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor; Junior Achievement; the Association for Career and Technical Education; and the Society for Human Resource Management. More than 100,000 students participated in 1998, and by 2011, over one million students and 100,000 businesses were participating each year.

How to Observe Groundhog Job Shadow Day

Celebrate the day by job shadowing or by having a young person shadow you at your job. Workers for non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, and local governments can all mentor someone today. If you are a worker, see if you can connect with a young person for the day, and, vice versa, if you are a young person, see if you can connect with someone in a career that interests you. If you are a parent, you could help your child find someone to job shadow. Organizations like Junior Achievement and America's Promise Alliance may provide more resources related to the day. With Groundhog Job Shadow Day, employees, employers, schools, youth, and community leaders can all come together to build a stronger community and brighter future.

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