Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce to host externship for high school teachers

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 11:05 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Show Me Careers Educator Experience in late July.

The program is a week-long externship for area high school educators to learn about career opportunities that may not necessarily involve a four-year college degree.

The hope is that the educators will take their experiences back to the school and their students in order to offer different career paths that may not always be looked at.

“This program in particular, it’s not geared to say, ‘oh, no one should go to a four year university,’ it’s more to open up the possibilities for students to say, ‘ok, let’s say we’re going to an advanced manufacturing setting,’ they’re going to talk about and be able to see entry level and what that looks like and what’s the career path to get there, your mid-level, and also your professional level,” said Vice President of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce Kim Voelker.

The program is targeting about a dozen area high schools and will focus on manufacturing, health care, hospitality and IT.

Specific businesses have not been confirmed yet, but will be shared when they are finalized.

The southeast Missouri area will benefit from this because it will help to show students current and future job opportunities available in this area.

“We have to make sure that we have a strong viable future workforce so that our community will be continue to grow and we’ll be able to recruit businesses and expand businesses as well in our area, so it just makes for a stronger economy,” Voelker said.

The program was launched by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce in St. Louis and the Cape Girardeau Chamber has been interested in bringing the program to the area. It was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be the first year for the event. It will be July 19-23.

Participants will receive a $400 stipend from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The externship will take place mostly in person.

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