Students use the JCHS Maker Space, one of the stops on the upcoming Open House tours.

JERSEYVILLE - Jersey Community High School is hosting an Open House event for local businesses from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Feb. 15. The event will feature student-led tours of the school’s Academic and Career and Technical Education Departments, giving the local business community a chance to see what students are capable of.

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Workforce Development Coordinator Erica Heitzig said it’s important for the students to lead these tours so businesspeople can hear directly from them.

“I want them to hear it from a student perspective. I think it’s important for them to see the pride that our students have,” Hetizig said. “The students that I’ve been talking to a little bit, they’re pretty excited to show off what they have.”A student buys a drink from the Books and Brew student-led coffee shop in the JCHS library area.

Two of the main attractions on the tour will be the Maker Space and the Books and Brew coffee shop, both of which opened earlier this school year in the JCHS library area. The Maker Space is an area for students and teachers to make arts, crafts, and much more with provided materials, while Books and Brew is a student-led coffee and tea shop.

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Heitzig said both projects are part of an effort to revamp the library space into more of a muli-use area and destination for students, which Hetizig said they have been “super effective” at so far.

She added that the Workforce Development Program is still relatively new, with this being its second year, so she hopes this event can help strengthen the students’ relationships with the local business community and provide them with opportunities after graduation.

“While we have high growth, we are looking to increase business partnerships overall in lots of different ways,” she said. “What we’re really looking to do is increase internships, so the different businesses that we have, we want to be able to partner with our students in a paid internship to help them create connections to help them get where they want to go after high school.

“The idea of connecting them to the business community is to get their feet wet, make sure it’s really what they want to do, and also have connections in the field to help them achieve their goals.”

If you’re a local businessperson interested in attending the JCHS Open House, you can submit an optional RSVP through this link.

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