Employer Panels for Norristown High School Juniors and Seniors
April 24, 2014 Norristown, PA – Six local employers, all Members of the MidAtlantic Employers’ Association, (MEA), were included in two Employer Panels where they shared their human resources knowledge, tips and advice to twenty-five juniors and seniors of Norristown High School. Employer panels, and other employer-focused events, are part of an initiative by the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board to partner with MEA to connect employers directly to current and future job seekers. The intent is to give them face to face connections with Human Resource professionals and hiring managers to receive “real world” advice in preparation to successfully interview and get hired.
Facilitated by Clara Console, MEA’s Managing Director of Training & Strategic Programs, the panelists communicated what it takes to be hired at their respective companies. They heard from each company representative what makes people “stand out” during resume reviews and interviews. Students received a taste of the “good, the bad and the ugly” of resumes, interviewing and what it’s like to be a successful and engaged employee. Just as important was the acknowledgement that making a great first impression is a huge deciding factor.
Manufacturers, especially, recommended doing some “pre-work” in order to pass pre-employment assessments of their basic skills including how to read a ruler and work out simple math problems. Researching and preparing for interviews, dressing for success and having good eye contact and sturdy handshakes were some of the tips offered to the students. These are the behaviors that make them “stand” out for employers. Sending personal thank you notes and following up were also suggested.
Several students approached the employers for additional questions and advice after the completion of the panels, showing their eagerness to learn more. A few of the employers were actively searching for candidates and thus were able to screen students that may be ready for the workplace after graduation. Afterwards the employers commented on how engaged the students were and how wonderful it was to be able to give them advice that they never received when they were young.
Special thanks go out to the employers on the panel: Michelle Donohue of Global Packaging Inc., Christy Byrne of EF Precision Inc., Karen Giannone of Premier Dental Products Co., Paul Coakley of Altria (supporting John Middleton Company), Sharon Hutchins of Laminators Inc., and Kim Bohm of AGC Chemicals Americas Inc.