Youth Career Connect provides local high school students real-world experience

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The Max Manufactory shop in Northeast Bend doesn’t really look like your traditional high school classroom, but it’s where Mountain View junior Tanner Jacobson says he’s getting the most experience.

It’s work as part of his internship secured through the Youth Career Connect program.

“After I came here, I just realized my love for it. It makes me happy talking about it. I’m passionate about it,” Jacobson said. “It helps you get ready into that early career stage. And honestly, it’s a lot of fun.”

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“We provide opportunities for students ages 16-21 to access work-based experiences through internships locally,” said Sarah Cochran, Youth Career Connect coordinator with Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.

Head welder Zach Martin serves as a mentor to Tanner and a handful of other students at the shop.

“Tanner’s Skills, work ethic all around, attitude, seeing that is just amazing. That’s probably the coolest part,” he said.

Jacobson says having Zach around to provide insight has contributed to his quick learning curve.

“He (Zach) hopped right on… within a week, you could, I could already see a difference,” Jacobson said. “My welding teacher at school was like, ‘Holy cow.'”

It’s not just Zach seeing the improvement. Players in the real world are starting to take notice too.

“Some of my dad’s buddies, they work for other shops and they’ve been trying to offer me jobs when I get older too,” he said.

Jacobson told Central Oregon Daily he’s still unsure about trade school. But after high school, he’s hoping to get a full-time offer doing something similar to his internship.

Youth Career Connect is looking to partner with more students and employers around Central Oregon. You can find more information here.

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