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Five Questions: Youth Career Day 2019 with the BEDC’s Jean Riemenschneider

By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer/photographer

Representatives from local companies present at Youth Career Day 2019 provide Bastrop High School, Cedar Creek High School and Colorado River Collegiate Academy juniors and seniors with valuable career advice. We spoke with Jean Riemenschneider, project manager and education workforce coordinator for the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, which helped initiate the event in 2015.

1) When/where will Youth Career Day 2019 be held?

It will be held Friday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Performing Arts Center, on the Bastrop High School campus.

2) What is Youth Career Day all about?

The vision for the Youth Career Day started in 2015 with the efforts of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Rural Texas Workforce and the City of Bastrop. The thought was to bring vendors to the students, which allows them to interact directly with companies.

3) What can students expect to find at the 2019 Youth Career Day?

Julian Alvarez III, Commissioner Representing Labor for the Texas Workforce Commission, will be the keynote speaker. He will focus on the importance of student learning and what skill sets are needed for the workforce.

Leo Cardenas, a certified body-language speaker, will be back again this year to present soft skills and how to read body language – elements that are crucial for the interview process and other interactions with potential employers.

Students will learn that they don’t have to leave Bastrop after graduation in order to find work. Additionally, there will be a job room offering students the ability to apply for summer jobs.

4) How does the area professional community come together each year to make Youth Career Day such a success?

Jean Riemenschneider, project manager and education workforce coordinator for the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, at the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Performing Arts Center. Youth Career Day 2019 takes place at the center. (Terry Hagerty Photos)

Without our partners we would not be able to make this event happen. The local business community has been so supportive and engaged with Youth Career Day since its beginning in 2015. Many now offer internships and other programs to give students new perspectives and opportunities for staying here in Bastrop after graduation.

In previous years, we’ve had representatives from industries that run the gamut. Companies and organizations included retail, banking, biotechnology, manufacturing, and local governmental departments. And we expect similar representation at this year’s career fair. Again, students will have the opportunity to talk shop with representatives from the electrical, auto mechanics, plumbing, welding and HVAC industries.

5) What do you particularly enjoy about your involvement with Youth Career Day?

My involvement with Youth Career Day started before I worked with the Bastrop EDC. Previously, I volunteered with Bastrop High School’s robotics program. So, working directly with students and BISD was not something new to me. Being able to show students new avenues and providing them the tools to achieve what interests them is so rewarding.

For more information about Youth Career Day 2019, please contact the Bastrop EDC office at (512) 303-9700.