Groundhog Job Shadow Day kicks off

Career Development Month


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            FOR INFORMATION CALL

February 1, 2001                                                                217-782-4648 or 312-814-3490


Springfield – More than one million students from around the country are expected to enter the world of work on February 2, as they job shadow representatives from business, government and industry on national Groundhog Job Shadow Day.


In Illinois, Governor George H. Ryan has designated February as Career Development Month and February 2 as Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Students around the state from elementary through high school will have the opportunity to participate in career-related activities throughout the month.


In addition, the Illinois State Board of Education’s Education-to-Careers (ETC) network is working to link schools and businesses to provide job shadowing opportunities for students.


“I encourage representatives in all careers to invite students to job shadow them -- not only on February 2 -- but throughout the month and throughout the year,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee. “This national event reminds us of the importance of involving youth in the workplace and allowing them to explore various career options.”


Representatives from several area businesses along with local legislators joined State Superintendent McGee in supporting career development and challenged others throughout the state to do likewise.


“Linking students with employers provides valuable real-world experiences for our youth,” said Superintendent McGee. “This partnership also stresses the important connection between the community and education as we work together to offer Illinois students an education that is Second to None.”


In addition to the actual job shadowing experience, students can also participate in virtual job shadowing via the Internet. Two websites, and, offer occupational profiles from various professions.


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Groundhog Job Shadow Day


Through the aid of technology, online mentors will give students a personal look at their workplace by providing relevant information including a job description, a typical day, education and training requirements and advice and recommendations.


Career development, which is a critical component of ISBE’s Education-to-Careers initiative, supports the state’s vision for Next Generation Education. In addition to promoting Groundhog Job Shadow Day, ETC has distributed press kits and promotional materials statewide and is sponsoring two student contests focusing on cross-curriculum learning and real-world activities.


“Why I want to be Governor” is a creative writing contest open to fourth and fifth grade students. The “Next Generation Education Leadership Award” asks students in sixth through eighth grade to explain how a teacher, principal and school have helped them explore career options. Contest entries are due at the State Board of Education by Friday, February 2, Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Winners and regional finalists will be announced the week of February 12.


For more information on Career Development Month, contact the ETC division of the State Board of Education at 217-782-4768 or check the website at “What’s New.”