Students get some lessons in ‘life’

Michael Waters of Waters Truck and Tractor answers questions from students.
DTL Staff

Some Golden Triangle business and industries help some students get a feel for the decisions they’ll have to make as adults. And they show them some surprising things about potential career, including how technical skills can lead to comfortable salaries.

The companies, including Graham Roofing, are part of a regional group known as FORGE — Family Organizations Recruiting Great Employees.

They spent the day playing the ‘Game of Life’ with students at the Lowndes County Career Technical Center. This event showcased area companies that hire individuals with the skills taught at the CTC.

In addition to Graham Roofing, the companies included Tronox, Waters Truck and Tractor, Eat with Us Group, Thompson Welding, International Paper, McCrary West Construction, West Brothers Construction, Burns Dirt Construction, Lowndes County School District, Harding Catering, Neel-Schaffer Inc., Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, Bob’s Paint and Auto Body, and Carl Hogan Toyota.

In the game, each student is given a career card representing the program in which they are enrolled, and a life card outlining a family scenario and expense. The students then purchase a house and insurance, utilities, vehicle and insurance, groceries based on the number in their household, and a phone plan with the salary their career card typically earns.

While making their way around the stations, students were randomly given chance cards. The chance cards could include items like having to buy new tires, having to fix a broken phone, or earning a bonus at work.

Each of the career cards played in the game were actual jobs from companies in our area including real salary and benefit information. This was done intentionally for the purpose of showing students job and career opportunities in the area.

At the end, they total up their spending to see how they’ve done with their "budget."

The experience gives them a chance to talk with representatives from companies about jobs and careers, financial planning, education opportunities and other decisions.

Volunteers for the day included Katie McCrary from McCrary West Construction, Christee Holbrook and Jennifer Shows from Graham Roofing, Greg Caston and Tracy Caston from Tronox, Johnnie Moore from Carl Hogan Toyota in Columbus, Michael Waters from Waters Truck and Tractor, retired realtor Lenore Richards, and the Lowndes County CTC staff.