IALR, Longwood University and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) collaborated to offer AspHIRE Mock Interview Day 2023 to 202 high school students this Spring. Tenth through 12th graders from six school systems participated in this event to hone their interview and employability skills with local professionals. Students came from Danville City, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Nottoway Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward Counties.
“The AspHIRE mock interview day provides valuable experience to high school students across Southern Virginia, exposing them to important workplace skills and allowing them to experience an authentic interview process,” said Jessie Vernon, IALR Advanced Learning Program Manager.
The event was organized by IALR and held on April 7 and 26 at IALR, on March 29 at SVHEC, and on April 25 at Longwood University. Local employers led work-readiness sessions and served as mock interviewers. To make this event possible, 66 volunteers provided their time, serving as interviewers and providing employability skill sessions.
“The trip to Asphire was both informative and fun. It helped me widen my horizon about the working field and opened my eyes to new possibilities.” – King Catubig, Lunenburg County
“Something that was beneficial for me was learning to ask questions at the end of my interview.” – Chasity Robertson, Nottoway County.
AspHIRE Mock Interview Day is designed to give students an opportunity to build their skills through a practice interview with a local professional and several employability skill sessions. Students are given a “conference” style experience, networking with peers and professionals at a professional lunch and attending breakout sessions. The latter included topics on Benefits and HR Basics, LinkedIn and Indeed, Personal Brand and Presentation, Professionalism and Communication, Teamwork and Problem Solving, and Time Management and Work-Life Balance.
The first event was held at IALR in 2019 for students in Danville and Pittsylvania County and was expanded to include additional partners in the years since then.
We are hiring Teachers, Custodians, Support Staff, Bus Drivers and More
New Teacher Signing Bonus $1000
Thanks to the MajorClarity work-based learning initiative funded by GO Virginia, IALR joined Goodwill Industries and Danville Public Schools to support the launch of a summer internship program with the City of Danville. IALR also joined Pittsylvania County Community Action, the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board and Pittsylvania County Schools to support a similar summer internship program in Pittsylvania County.
The City of Danville hosted 27 Danville Public Schools students and Pittsylvania County hosted 15 Pittsylvania County Schools students. Their internships were eight weeks long and offered stipends and valuable work-based learning experience. For example, during the eight-week program, Pittsylvania County students had the opportunity to work across several departments with Pittsylvania County Schools, as well as with Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation, the Pittsylvania Pet Center, Information Technology, Public Relations, Finance, and Community Development. Students wrote biographies of staff and drafted social media posts, helped customers, visited construction sites, and conducted important research. The students also had the opportunity to attend a groundbreaking event for Staunton River Plastics where they met Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (see photo).
“Work-based learning opportunities, specifically internships, are critical experiences that connect students and young adults to career opportunities and create relevance aligned with their academic experience,” said Julie Brown, Director of Advanced Learning at IALR. “Paid internships are an investment by our local governments and employers as a key strategy to support regional talent development efforts.”
All 15 K-12 school divisions in GO Virginia Region 3 have adopted MajorClarity as their work-based learning platform. IALR led the adoption of this common digital platform to enhance students’ career development and increase employer engagement in work-based learning. 26,000 students in grades 6-12 now have access to MajorClarity to explore and prepare for career fields, plan and select academic classes and training programs, identify work-based learning opportunities, and track and improve career readiness and awareness. The county and city internship programs integrated MajorClarity as part of the application process.
IALR’s mobile Inspiration Lab to help educators, students and community select days throughout May
Danville Public Schools (DPS) and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) are partnering to expand virtual teaching resources for educators while supplementing WiFi access for students, their families and the community. IALR’s 45-foot mobile Inspiration Lab will be parked at the former W. Townes Lea Elementary School on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons during the month of May to serve these audiences.
“During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, our teachers are learning to teach differently,” stated DPS Superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones. “In my 35 years in public education, there has never been a more important time for collaboration and building strong partnerships. Working with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research gives our teachers access to a world-class mobile lab that will provide a unique experience for both teachers and students.”
“We are extremely grateful for the partnership we have with Danville Public Schools and other area school divisions to support the instructional needs of our area’s educators as well as the learning and WiFi access needs of our students and the community at large,” said Dr. Julie Brown, Director of Advanced Learning at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. “Continuing to leverage the advanced technology of our mobile Inspiration Lab is one way we can keep our region moving forward.”
Students, their families and the community may access the Inspiration Lab’s WiFi hotspot from noon-4 p.m., every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month. Personal mobile devices, such as Google Chromebooks, should be used to connect from outside the lab within the parking lot of the former W. Townes Lea Elementary School. No unscheduled visitors will be allowed inside the mobile lab at this time. The hotspot is called IALR Inspiration Lab AP1.
Teachers may reserve an individual appointment time on the Inspiration Lab to record their next virtual lesson and to teach students from an engaging, new setting. The mobile lab offers advanced technology and resources to complement a wide range of instructional topics, especially regarding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). From 3D printers and robots to a chemical fume extractor, the Inspiration Lab is equipped to support most hands-on instructional needs. With proper advance notice and planning, IALR will also assist requesting teachers with instructional resources for coding, robotics, electronics and more.
Teachers can view available resources at ialr.org/inspiration-lab. They can request an appointment at bit.ly/DPSgovirtual. Advance registration is required to prepare the necessary equipment and to ensure only one teacher accesses the Inspiration Lab at a time.
For questions or additional information, please contact Bruce Waller, IALR Program Coordinator for the Inspiration Lab, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 770-8777.