Student Gets Virtual Co-op Education Position

Pictured, from left to right, are: Rose Weaver, cooperative education coordinator; Krista Fair, student; and John Kimmel, principal. (Provided photo)

Jeff Tech’s Digital Media Technology program has broken ground with a virtual Cooperative Education (Co-op) position.  Senior student Krista Fair has accepted a position with The Punxsutawney Spirit.  This is the first-ever virtual Co-op position to occur between Jeff Tech and an area business. 

With the use of top-notch technology in Jeff Tech’s IT Academy, Fair will be working for The Spirit, while she is sitting in her shop classroom, a win-win situation.  Since Fair could not arrange to get to and from The Spirit office but wished to gain employment there, this arrangement allows her the opportunity to work for them without concerning herself with transportation issues. 

“In return, The Spirit gains a motivated and knowledgeable employee,” said Mike Knobloch, adult education administrator in a press release. “Fair will be employed at The Spirit in the advertising department.  Due to her training in graphic field design, she was an excellent candidate for the position.”

Fair will begin working a minimum of 15 hours per week.  Students in Co-op receive credit in their Career and Technical Education program for work done outside of school.  The employer evaluates the student’s performance and that evaluation is added to the student’s report card. 

Rose Weaver, co-op coordinator, works with businesses all over the community and is responsible for getting students placed at job sites with employers related to the student’s field of study. Presently, Weaver oversees 15 Jeff Tech students in the Co-op program.  When Weaver was asked what she thought of incorporating this type of Co-op situation, she said, “The opportunity that The Punxsutawney Spirit is giving our student is a first in our fast growing technological world.” 

Sam Ettaro, digital media technology instructor, established the advanced program that would make this opportunity work. He then tackled the task of convincing the managers at The Spirit that not only would this arrangement work, but it would be efficient and beneficial as well for everyone involved. 

Ettaro said he’s very proud of Fair for taking the initiative to begin this type of employment. He wishes to extend an invitation to any other businesses interested in partnering with the digital media program at Jeff Tech and using its Co-op program. 

If anyone is interested in participating in the Co-op programs, they should contact Rose Weaver by phone at 814-653-8265, ext. 152 or by e-mail at rsweaver@jefftech.us.

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