On-the-Job Training

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Off to work. Senior Zoe Wilkerson participates in the OJT program and works at Richey’s Chocolates. Students received course credit and worked during the school day. “I think this a great way to help our students to understand what things they will experience in the world outside of school,” said OJT teacher, Dennis Stallard.

Kyrsten White, Staff Reporter

Being a student is hard, especially when you want, or need, to work.  

The On-the-Job Training program (OJT) is one solution to that problem. This course is a two-part class, one part being Mr. Dennis Stallard’s class and the other being able to leave the school to work. Before joining OJT, there are no required classes to take. 

“In the classroom, we deal with real-world subjects, like taxes, budgeting, getting out of debt, all the types of things you will run into outside of a school environment,” said Stallard.  

Both courses are meant to help allow students to learn more about the world outside of the high school environment. Each class is beneficial for students in different ways. There are a few additional requirements to be eligible for the OJT class.  

One must be a senior in order to be able to leave school. Then fill out an application and already hold a job going into the school year. Not every student that applies will be guaranteed a spot in the class, but the school tries to allow as many students as possible into the program. 

Many of the students in OJT also consider this to be a valuable course to take.

Nancy Morales (12)  – Puppy Patch

Senior Nancy Morales leaves school to work at Puppy Patch at 11:05 P.M. She works from the time that she leaves school until 5:30. Due to her leaving three periods before school ends, she is required to work 22 and a half hours a week.

Morales has been working at her current job since before she was in the class. While she is there, she works with children and thinks that she may continue with it when she is older. Also, by working there, she was certified to be a daycare worker.

“I am certified to work with both the younger group of kids and regular school-aged kids. When I get there, I start with the younger kids until my kids get out of school and come to after-school care,” Morales stated.

Zoe Wilkerson (12) – Richey’s Chocolate

Zoe Wilkerson, a senior, works at Richey’s Chocolates, where she gets to sell and package chocolates. She leaves school at 1:30 P.M., and because she only leaves one class period before school ends, she is must work at least seven hours a week.

She was introduced to the owner of Richey’s through the process of getting into the program.

“I work in sales, which includes using the cashier. The biggest thing that I do is clean the chocolate so that it all looks pretty and fancy,” Wilkerson said.

Austin Filips (12) – Danny’s Pizzeria

Senior Austin Filips has worked at Danny’s Pizzeria for about two years and is only required to work about fifteen hours a week. He gets out at 12:35 P.M., just before the sixth period starts. Filips loves working at Danny’s because it has a great environment and is a fun place.

“Being in the OJT program helps to learn about leadership and also gives you a chance to have more free time,” Filips stated.

Nicholas Solario (12) – Chop Shop

Nick Solario works at Chop Shop and leaves school around 11:05 P.M. He has to work roughly 22 and a half hours a week. One thing that Solario enjoys about the program is that he is able to spend more time at work and being able to get paid more.

“I find this course beneficial because it’s better on my mental health, it’s easier for me to come to school and spend a few class periods here than go to work,” said Solario.