Early Decisions Play Major Role in Career Development

Article excerpt

Career development begins at an early age. Some people may decide on a career path earlier than others. The classes students study and skills they develop, even when undecided on a career path, play a part in their later career decisions.

Those and words of encouragement to refrain from becoming involved in drugs, teen pregnancy and other teen troubles which might restrict career choices were points of friendly advice passed on to a Jackson Middle School class by Printer Michael Snodgrass of Tulsa.

Snodgrass, assistant to the president of PennWell Printing Co. in Tulsa, told the 9 a.m. English class of Nancy Funches they could find many exciting and lucrative jobs in the printing industry.

"The decisions you make right now, the gangs you get into, they are going to reflect on your future," he said Wednesday. "One of these days I am going to retire and you are going to run my company.

"I work for PennWell Printing Co., which prints trade journals. You are going to have my job some day. You are going to help support me when I get old. You are going to pay for Social Security. You are going to have to work. You can make a difference.

"There is a group called the Graphic Arts Education Council of Oklahoma. They got together and sat around a table and said, `What are we going to do about this workforce problem. We have a bunch of jobs to fill and we don't have anybody to fill them. If we do fill them, they don't know how to read, or they don't know how to write.'

"What they did was, they got people like me to come in and talk to you _ to tell you it is worth learning all of that, because you are going to need that later on." Snodgrass told the students English was a hard subject for him, but it was an important one for the students and their later careers. He was speaking to a bi-lingual eighth grade class, where many of the students spoke Spanish among themselves.

"Building your life is like building a house," he said. "You start with a solid foundation.

"So, let's talk about printing. That is what I got into. When I was in the eighth grade, I didn't know what I was going to do, but they had something called Career Exploration." Printing was one of the careers he explored through the Career Exploration program. That led to his developing a career in the printing field, he said.

"Printing is a big industry. In the next 10 years, it is going to take a quarter of a million people to fill the jobs in printing. Somebody has got to fill those jobs. It could be you.

"What type of people do you think it takes to print something?" Snodgrass asked. "You've got to have a pressman, a printer, a salesman, an estimator. An estimator estimates what it is going to cost. …