Event helps kids call it a Career

Jack Weatherley, 11, of Owatonna, knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up — a football player. But what he will be remains to be seen.

Weatherley was among 12 youths Mary Sherman-Ahrens brought from the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie to the first Career Day event organized by the Northwest Neighborhood Association in Rochester.

The event last week at Pax Christi Church in Rochester gave children ages 10 to 18 a chance to explore more than a dozen career paths, from pharmacist to firefighter, from meteorologist to musician.


The idea was to get kids thinking about their futures and what they want to do in life, Sherman-Ahrens said. The event was geared to expose kids to careers outside of what they're normally exposed to, she said.


Information from the Workforce Development Center also gave the kids insight about what jobs are seeing temporarily increased demand and what jobs are on the decline.

There's a declining need for postal service mail sorters and mail carriers. But there is a growing need for iron and rebar workers and brick masons, according to Minnesota employment projections through 2020, said Jen Hauzer, business service specialist for the Rochester, Austin & Albert Lea Workforce Centers.

And in Rochester, health-care careers are always growing and expanding, she said.

After seeing K-9 dog handlers in action and learning about opportunities in the U.S. Air Force, Jon Hansen, 14, of Austin, found that he might like to be a real estate agent.

"You get to be your own boss and set your own hours," he said.

And while Weatherley didn't find a career more enticing than football player, he said the hands-on experience of staying on his uncle's farm in Blooming Prairie this summer has taught him that he likes farming.

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