LIMA — Lima Senior High School junior and senior students learned Thursday it takes 27 seconds to make a first impression and how to successfully communicate in the work force.
Matt Jones, Crown Point Equipment regional recruiter in New Bremen’ spoke to more than 200 junior and senior high school students in the school’s SkillsUSA program. Crown Equipment is a sponsor for SkillsUSA. The global business manufactures, sells and services forklifts and is the largest electric fork manufacturer in the United States.
SkillsUSA is a national career tech organization where high school juniors and seniors learn about technical skills grounded in academics, personal and workplace skills to succeed in the workforce.
Jones said in his profession he saw a skills gap in potential employees of those he was recruiting who lacked soft skills. He decided to go to area colleges and Lima Senior High School to teach students about interviewing and communication skills.
Ashley Rozell, Lima Senior patient care teacher, said SkillsUSA teaches students how to be more professional in their skilled trades. Lima High School’s program focuses on patient care, auto tech, engineering and welding.
Rozell attended a teacher meeting where Jones gave a presentation and she decided she would like to have her students hear his presentation.
“We want students to learn how to get employed and keep their jobs and remain professional,” Rozell said.
Some of the skills students learned about Thursday were work ethic, professionalism, professional development and communication, decision making and leadership. Job interview, resume and communication skills were discussed with the students to prepare them for the work force.
Jones educated the students on the importance of resume writing skills and making sure there are no spelling errors on resumes. Jones said it is important to make a good first impression by what they wear and shaking hands.
Jones encouraged students to learn their strengths and weaknesses and be able to overcome those.
Empathy is another skill he addressed, noting it is important to see from others’ perspectives and understand their feelings in a given situation.
Students leared about soft skills that are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with other people, Jones explained.
“Hard skills are technical abilities, but soft skills are self awareness, empathy, professionalism, communication and positive energy,” Jones said.
He said Harvard University did a study that found 85% of job success comes from well developed soft skills and 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge.
Zaikaijiah Ware, Lima Senior High School senior, has plans to study business or nursing at Wright State University.
“I feel this will give me more knowledge about skills I need later in the future,” Ware said. She said the presentation helped boost her confidence in preparing for job interviews.
Jawan Anderson, Lima Senior High School senior, plans to study sports management or business.
“It will put me a step ahead of the game and know how to present myself,” Anderson said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.