Unlocking career opportunities for youth
One beautiful fall afternoon in October, Golden West field service team members from the southern hills hauled Golden West’s splicing trailer to Edgemont. But instead of connecting new customers, the team was working to attract potential future coworkers.
Field Service Supervisor Jack Petersen, Hot Springs Area Foreman Chad Olstad, and Field Service Technician Tanner Evans used the trailer to give Edgemont High School students a behind-the-scenes look at a career in telecommunications. They offered students a glimpse into their daily operations, focusing on splicing and safety techniques.
The students also received advice on transitioning into the professional world from Human Resource Assistant Jody Pease. She gave application and resume advice and shared interview strategies. She also addressed how vocational/trade schools could provide an alternative to a four-year degree.
Many Golden West Field Services team members earned two-year degrees in Wi-Fi broadband technologies from Mitchell Technical College or another trade school. Attendees at these schools graduate and start work in half the time of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
In addition, graduates earn more in their first year of employment than the average total cost of tuition at a trade school. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Labor database of occupational information, O*NET OnLine.
Projected growth within the telecommunications industry
An important highlight of the day was the discussion over the telecommunications industry’s projected growth. O*NET OnLine predicts the industry will experience “faster than average” growth until 2031. At that time, the site estimates there will be 100,000 or more job openings nationwide.
Edgemont seniors Cian Waite and Addison Neville will be shadowing Golden West team members as high school interns this year. They are excited for the opportunity to gain experience in the telecommunications industry and look forward to what Golden West has to offer.
Edgemont Student Advisor Becky Harding is thankful for the collaboration with Golden West. She appreciates the potential opportunities for students in the telecommunications world, which could translate into long-term career opportunities in towns like Edgemont.
“We are excited to team up with Golden West and allow our students the opportunity to intern throughout the remainder of the school year,” Becky says.