District Five launches 1st Jobs Initiative

Lexington-Richland School District Five launched the first-ever 1st Jobs Initiative with a recruitment fair last month at Irmo High School International School for the Arts. The 1st Jobs Initiative is a unique way to help the district with the nationwide labor shortage as well as help students.

The district is hiring students to work in jobs in the transportation department, student nutrition department, clerical positions as well jobs in basic maintenance and landscaping. The objective of the initiative is the provide students ages 16 and older with state-approved work-based learning experiences in order to increase their career readiness and improve school operations.

“The 1st Jobs Initiative will offer an opportunity for students to earn while they learn,” said Dr. Reggie Wicker, School District Five’s Director of Personnel. “The guidance counselors and career specialists will look at student schedules and their preferences and match them to jobs that are open in the district. Students will work at the jobs during school hours and earn money and credit during the process. We feel this opportunity will provide them real-life work skills they can use beyond high school.”

The job openings at the school district also provide students with a good alternative to other jobs in the area, which may require them to work late-night shifts, weekends, and holidays.

“I feel like me doing this program while I am in high school will help me when I start applying to college,” said Irmo High School senior D’Ziyah Govan.

Irmo High School junior Neveah Grooms said, “Hopefully this journey can help me get into a good college and help me be successful in everything I want to be successful in my future.”

Irmo High School students represent the first cohort for the program. During the recruitment event, students received training on how to prepare their resumes and also visited booths of departments that are hiring. Students received a swag pack and lunch.

“We’re excited that our students are taking advantage of this opportunity,” Interim Superintendent Akil E. Ross, Sr. said. “Tomorrow’s workers are in our classrooms today, so we are taking advantage of that mutual benefit so that our students can grow and our district can thrive.”

Photo: Dave Weissman and Jocelyn Seel of the District 5 Transportation Department talk with students about jobs opportunities with the district.