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
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