Published February 16, 2010
Volume 18, Number 2

State Fund Hosts Job Shadow Day for Oakland Students

State Fund employees saw their shadows into the business
world on  Groundhog Day.  (photo credit:  Photo courtesy of
State Compensation Insurance Fund)

Groundhog Day isn’t the only shadowing tradition in February. This is also the month that State Compensation Insurance Fund, California’s largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance, hosts its annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day. This year, State Fund’s Hacienda office has invited students from two Oakland public schools to accompany employee mentors throughout the workday for a first-hand view of how skills learned in school translate in the real-world business setting.

According to the National Job Shadow Coalition, “Groundhog Job Shadow Day is a national academically motivating activity designed to give students the opportunity of an up-close look at the world of work and provide the answer to their commonly asked question, ‘Why do I have to learn this?’” Job shadowing can be especially helpful for students in at-risk situations, exposing them to various career options they otherwise might not have a chance to explore. 

The State Fund event, scheduled from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m on February 19, will be attended by approximately 50 students from Castlemont High School and McClymonds High School.

Castlemont, also known as Leadership Preparatory High School, has been the company’s “adopted school of choice” for the job shadow program over the past seven years. When State Fund moved to Hacienda from Oakland it decided to continue the relationship. The high school defines itself as “a community of small schools: Leadership Preparatory High School is a new small autonomous interconnected school which provides students with the foundations and comprehensive interdisciplinary studies in Literature/Writing, Culture and Philosophy and Media Arts.”

McClymonds High School, also known as BEST, Business Entrepreneurial School of Technology, is new to the job-shadow program this year. BEST describes itself as “a College Preparatory program with an entrepreneurship emphasis. The expectation that every student will achieve educational excellence with academic support is inherent in the school’s philosophy. Small classes and close interaction with experienced and dedicated faculty are a hallmark of education at BEST.”

Student participants were selected because they were in specific business-related classes. “The careers they will shadow range from clerical support, claims adjusting, underwriting, marketing, auditing, loss control, IT and real property management,” says Stephanie Berger, a marketing manager in State Fund’s Pleasanton office. “They will get to shadow a groundhog and see them working and interacting with co-workers while exploring what kind of skills these employees have or need to perform their work.” 

Berger promises that it will be a “fun and educational experience.” Noted motivational speaker Tony Friday of Causing Excellence will deliver the morning keynote, while Officer Sam Morgan, Public Affairs Coordinator, California Highway Patrol-Oakland Division, will address the group in the afternoon. 

The program also encourage the development of relationships between students and caring adults, Berger points out, adding, “Given the current economy, students need these valuable experiences more than ever.”

Companies interested in the program and job shadow opportunities can visit www.jobshadow.com.


Also in this issue ...