Karen Willis named School to Careers Coordinator for Pendleton School District
Karen Willis has been hired as the new School to Careers Coordinator for the Pendleton School District. She will join Jane Waldher, who is also a school to careers coordinator for the Pendleton School District, as well as for the Athena-Weston School District, and Nick Nash who is the School to Careers Coordinator for the Pilot Rock School District.
Willis is a Pendleton native with close ties to the community. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Blue Mountain Community College before transferring to Western Oregon University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics and Writing. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Oregon State University, specializing in online instructional design.
The School to Careers program is in its 4th year. The program helps local business and industry create career-related learning opportunities for regional high school students. It is operated through a partnership between Eastern Oregon Business Source and local school districts.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, 335 students in the Pendleton School District took part in a career related guest speaker, an employer presentation, or a site visit or tour. There were also 95 work-based learning placements. This includes a mentorship meeting, job shadow, or internship.
In the Athena-Weston School District, there were 29 work-based learning placements including 18 Internships and 11 Job Shadows. Sixty-Six students attended an industry or college tour, and 35 students watched a career related speaker.
In the Pilot Rock School District, six students completed 14 internship placements at a wide variety of placement partners across Umatilla County.
“Giving students a chance to see the world of work is developing our future workforce. Both employers and teachers are essential to the School to Careers program,” said Susan Bower, School to Careers Project Manager.