A new initiative launched in Suffolk County aims to introduce high schoolers to local industry employers and showcase work opportunities post-graduation.
The Classroom to Careers Initiative, overseen by the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, organizes virtual tours of local businesses for high school students, pairing participating employers with interested school districts.
The initiative is free for participating districts and companies.
The initiative held its first virtual tour and interactive presentation with a group of over 80 Brentwood High School students Wednesday, led by music equipment manufacturer D’Addario & Co. The educational sessions are closed to the public to ensure safety and privacy for participating students but interested districts can arrange a session for its students with the Labor Department.
Rosalie Drago, commissioner of the Suffolk Labor Department, said the initiative will arrange the ongoing tours and presentations at least once a month with participating employers and schools, with the goal of ramping up to several times a month.
"These ages of 14 to 18 are a time to explore and discover the intersection of what you’re interested in and what’s available to you as a career," Drago said. "It’s really to help them make the best postsecondary choice for themselves and their situation, and to help them realize — which most people do not realize — the number of jobs on Long Island that have a career path."
"Classroom to Careers will help provide our young people with a roadmap to a rewarding career and unlock the endless possibilities located right here on Long Island," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. "The program will provide direct insight into some of our most popular and growing industries to encourage our students to explore career paths close to home."
Employers interested in participating in the program can contact Alonzo Cook at the Suffolk Labor Department at Alonzo.Cook@suffolkcountyny.gov. Interested school districts can contact Stacey Lesko, Labor Department Youth director at Stacey.Lesko@suffolkcountyny.gov.