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    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

For Release: January 31, 2003

Groundhog Job Shadow Day Launches Activities to Explore Careers

Seeing shadows will be more than tradition for New Jersey students on Groundhog Day — it will be a chance for them to catch a glimpse of their futures. Beginning on Monday, February 3, thousands of employers from all walks of life will host students as part of the fifth National Groundhog Job Shadow Day.

In New Jersey, more than 18,000 students in grades 7 through 11 are expected to spend one day shadowing scientists, teachers, firefighters, graphic designers, government employees and other workers from hundreds of professions in order to experience the workplace firsthand.

"Groundhog Job Shadow Day had a natural premise and satisfies a natural need for young people to learn about the working world in which they will someday take their places," said Commissioner of Education William L. Librera. "I encourage students and employer sponsors to participate in this valuable experience throughout the year."

Governor James E. McGreevey will issue a proclamation declaring February 3 as Groundhog Job Shadow Day in New Jersey. The proclamation, in part, states that Groundhog Job Shadow Day allows employers to help prepare the future generation of New Jersey’s workers while demonstrating a tangible commitment to supporting and improving the community.

"Job shadowing is one of many activities that encourage the continuing partnership of business and education to give New Jersey a well-prepared and vibrant work force," Governor McGreevey said. "We will continue to build on this positive relationship to develop high quality teaching and learning standards and classroom programs."

Groundhog Job Shadow Day aims to provide students interested in exploring a particular occupation opportunities to spend time with a professional working in that industry. Employee sponsors explain job skills, educational requirements, interviewing processes and other aspects of work to help students make a connection between what they learn in school and their career interests.

Formed in 1997, the Job Shadow Day Coalition consists of America’s Promise; the National School-to-Work Office/Department of Education/Department of Labor; Junior Achievement; and the American Society of Association Executives.

For more information about participating in Groundhog Job Shadow Day activities now and throughout the year, contact Allwyn Baskin at the New Jersey Department of Education, 609-292-6573, or visit the following Web site: