Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School held their annual Non-Traditional Career Assembly for ninth-grade students on Friday, December 17, 2021. A non-traditional career, as defined by the US Department of Labor, is an occupation in which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25% of the individuals employed in such occupation. At the end of December, students will complete their Exploratory Program and will be making their selections for a permanent vocational-technical program. Prior to their program selection, Old Colony holds this assembly so that students can hear from and talk with individuals who are employed in nontraditional careers. This year’s assembly was coordinated in partnership with the Greater New Bedford Workforce Development/Connecting Activities department. They arranged for six industry professionals, who are non-traditional in gender for their career, to speak to the Old Colony students about their experiences working in a field that is non-traditional for their gender.
Each panelist shared the path to their current role and discussed both the challenges and benefits of pursuing a nontraditional career and answering student questions. At the conclusion of the program, the panelists shared advice with the students to keep in mind while they are making their selections. They all shared the same sentiments of urging students to follow their own path and pursue their own interests and goals.
A special thank you to our panelists, Dena Barber, Loan Officer at RMS Mortgage, George Bath, Associate Chief Nurse Officer at Charlton Memorial Hospital, Nickie Collard-Andrade, Workforce Development and Local Content Coordinator for Vineyard Wind, Amy Prigmore, CEO of New England Electropolishing, Kasia Samsel, Test and Repair Manager at Amazon Robotics, and Al Seitz, Director of Admissions at MA Maritime Academy for taking the time to share their incredible experiences with our students as they prepare to make their shop selections. Thank you also to Justin Grota, Jamilyn Gordon, and Deven Robitaille for coordinating this fantastic group to speak with our students.