Channel 5 News – DMPS Job Program

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Check out this special channel 5 news feature about the DMPS Job Program with some of our very own students with the help of Work Experience Coordinator, Erin Van Dorin.  Click HERE to listen to this featured story.

DES MOINES – Des Moines Public Schools is helping get some of their students real world job experience before graduating high school. It’s part of the district’s work experience program.

At North High School, eight seniors are working at local businesses getting on the job experience. It helps them get opportunities they may not have known about.

“You can take classes about job skills, and they do, you can study what it means ot have a job, you can practice interviews, but to really go and do it has been wonderful,” said North High School Principal Ben Graeber.

Before these students start work, they get ready for their job interview.

“Researching the company that they would be going to, having the students by into what their job is going to be. Prior to that we had gone down, we made manuals with pictures in there and task lists so it’s not a complete unknown as to what they’re walking into,” said North High School Work Education Coordinator, Erin VanDorin.

Students also learn to how to navigate the public transportation system.

“Some of them may get a permit, some of them may not. Part of the understand is if you’re going ot have a job you got to figure out how to get there.”

“Some students are really nervous to leave North, some students are really comfortable within these walls. But to coach them on how to takes buses and to coach them on how to get there and to really push them outside their comfort zone is what’s going got benefit them long term,” said Graeber.

For Robbie, he started at Big City Burgers and Greens on Tuesday.

“I’ve just been sanitizing tables. Going to be taking care of ketchup and mustard and bunch of other things,” said North High School Senior, Robbie Ruffing.

“It’s a great opportunity for the students to learn real world skills along with skills in the employment world. Also great for me and the employees to work with other and communicate with others,” said Big City Burgers and Greens Manager, Thomas Nellen.

“Every time they get an opportunity to go  out into the community, work with our partners, they are adding things to their resume and that puts them ahead of some of their peers,” said VanDorin.

Robbie says he is looking forward to gaining more work experience at Big City. He will work there every other day in the morning.