Sleepy Eye’s OJT program (On the Job Training) is in its sixth year of providing local juniors and seniors an in-depth awareness of local career opportunities.

Sleepy Eye’s OJT program (On the Job Training) is in its sixth year of providing local juniors and seniors an in-depth awareness of local career opportunities. The stated goal of OJT is to help create pathways to employment and careers which exist within Sleepy Eye.

Students are placed with a business, for a semester, to experience the type of work done there—with a combination of hands-on and/or shadowing experiences, depending on the nature of the work. They generally spend one class period a day at the business.

While students involved this semester are just getting started on their OJT experience, the process for placing students next school year is already underway.

The OJT Job Fair was held at both St. Mary’s and Sleepy Eye High School on Thursday, Jan. 3. Fifteen businesses were on hand, to meet with students who will be juniors and seniors next year, to provide information about the OJT opportunities available.

The program is coordinated by Kurk Kramer of the EDA. Kramer explained the process that interested students go through over the next month. The job fair is followed in mid-January with a training session for students to learn how to present themselves when interviewing for a position. “Actual interviews are held in early February,” said Kramer, “and by the middle of February we are ready to inform students of placements for next year.”

Each year, students are asked about their experience with OJT, and the comments often include remarks on the value of learning more about the variety of jobs at a business, or in a career field. These are valuable lessons for young people ready to move on in their education or chosen profession.