MILWAUKEE - Preparing them for college and beyond, a local school says it's steadfast in not allowing an educational gap, but instead propelling their students and building career skills. But has the coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape of the workplace?
In a room tucked away at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, there's a connection to the corporate world.
"We developed this new, innovative program that adapts to workplace trends we are going to see now and in the future," Amy Leahy said.
The director of the corporate work-study program says the school launched a new remote work pilot to meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s workplace.
"We are looking for ways to continue professional development of the students," she said.
While only some students were able to deploy to jobs in November, for those in a hybrid learning model, this opportunity was a blessing.
"COVID has been tough on my family and other families, as well, but I found coming to the pilot programming has really help me, in a way. I get to leave a home environment and come to a work environment, in a way," said Candece Garcia, 11th-grader.
Working in a suite for Kohl's, students are engaged in different projects and collaborate virtually.
"They do some amazing research for us," Leahy said.
Clinton Satyavelu, the director at Kohl’s department stores, says the company invests in the community as it comes up with innovative ways to do business during a pandemic.
"To be able to get in there and use their technology skills, to be able to surf the web and identify things maybe we missed, analyze data and maybe put it in a way that helps drive some recommendations they have they are pretty inventive," he said.
This one day a week will affect their future for years to come.
"I get to make more connections," said Garcia. "I’ve been wanting to go to college and try to learn which career I want to pursue."
Right now, there are four local companies from different industries participating.
Students are placed based on interest and skillsets. They work one day a week during normal business hours, and academic schedules are structured so they don't miss any classes. The school is looking to expand and add more companies next year.