Q: How long have you been volunteering for JA JobSpark?
A: Since the beginning in 2016.
Q: What Cluster/Committees do you serve on for JA JobSpark?
A: Architecture, Engineering & Construction Co-Chair.
Q: What is your favorite part about JA JobSpark?
A: Quite simply it is the connection with an eighth grader when you provide them an experience in a field they are interested in. You literally see their face light up when they can talk to someone about their interest, and do something hands on to better understand it. I still remember a young girl from our first year who came into our career cluster and I was asking her about her interests. She said she liked construction but that she was a girl so couldn't study that! I was able to introduce her to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 103 volunteers that were operating crane simulators who had a proactive campaign to interest women into their field. From there she went to the carpenters experience and spoke to carpenters who talked about the number of women carpenters and electricians they encounter on worksites. She realized construction jobs are NOT gender specific. I always feel that we opened her eyes and maybe some doors for her future.
Q: Why do you volunteer with the JA JobSpark Initiative?
A: I fully understand to build the workforce we are going to need not only here in Indiana but across the nation you have to start early with the students. It is amazing to talk to eighth graders that run the spectrum from 'not sure and just exploring options' all the way to the student that already knows so much about their field of interest who talk to our volunteers to gather more information to fill in the blanks of what they don't know. So many of them already have a clear path mapped out.
Q: Why is your company (if applicable) involved in JA JobSpark?
While I am retired from Eli Lilly, they understand the need to start fostering interest at an earlier and earlier age. They will need a constant stream of people to help fulfill their long term goals. Lilly needs everyone from pipe fitters, PhD researchers and everyone in between.