L.O.O.P. Provides Unique Opportunity for Current and Former JMCSS Students
After a successful first cohort of L.O.O.P. students in the spring of 2019, the program is placing more students in high demand jobs in the Jackson area. Following an initial cohort of 25 students, the program is expanding to approximately 50 students during the 2019-2020 school year. L.O.O.P. (Local Options and Opportunities Program) provides students with valuable work experience, the opportunity to earn industry certifications, and a competitive wage, all while they are completing their high school diploma. Students spend half of their day in the classroom as a student working on coursework and the other half working on the floor as a part-time employee of an industry partner. JMCSS currently partners with Stanley Black and Decker, TBDN, Delta Faucet, BlueScope Buildings, The Old Country Store, and Gourmet Your Way.
In its second year, L.O.O.P. has already begun to create a network of JMCSS students in the advanced manufacturing field. Current JMCSS and L.O.O.P. student, Delonte Gunn, and former JMCSS student and L.O.O.P. Cohort 1 graduate, Kylan Freeman, have been paired together as a mentee and mentor in their jobs at Stanley Black and Decker. Kylan, who currently works full-time at Stanley Black and Decker, is training Delonte on his new role as a L.O.O.P. student and Stanley Black and Decker employee. “It’s like looking in a mirror at a younger me when I first started in L.O.O.P.” stated Kylan. “It’s exciting because I have the opportunity to talk to the students and give them tips that will help them along their L.O.O.P. journey. I get to show them how to do the job correctly and, most importantly, safely.”
Delonte, who is only a few weeks in to the program, already sees the benefits for his future plans. “What I like about L.O.O.P. is that we actually get to work and go to school. From my point of view, I’m going to be seeing how real college and a job feel because I’m attending Jackson State this fall and going to L.O.O.P. and playing sports as well,” reflected Delonte. “I like this job because it’s very clean and safe. I believe L.O.O.P. will be beneficial because wherever I go this job will look good on my resume and I will also have a good background from this job.”
As Kylan continues to train Delonte on his new job at Stanley Black and Decker, he sees the benefit of gaining new skills in the workplace and helping to share those with the L.O.O.P. students. “I like going around and learning new jobs and helping others out because it shows that I can be valuable to the company and it gives me an opportunity to develop more work skills.”
For more information on L.O.O.P. visit our web page, www.jmcss.org/loop.