DOLE holds first ‘career extravaganza’ for 800 HS students in Bacolod City Jemyca Suah, a graduating student from Mandalagan National High School in Bacolod City was ecstatic. It was her first time to attend an activity that provides clear options to students on what college course to pursue. “I know now what will be my career,” she said, admitting that before, she entertained doubts about the course she planned to take up in college. Suah was among the more than 800 students in the 8th grade and 4th year from various high schools who attended the ‘career extravaganza’ organized by the DOLE Regional Office No. 6 through its Bacolod City Field Office shortly before the end of the current school year. It was held last 21 March 2014 at the People’s House of Bacolod City. The ‘career extravaganza’, the DOLE’s first in Bacolod City, is a one-day activity aimed at helping students plan their future careers. It consisted of career counseling, career talks, and coaching and mentoring The activity was organized by the DOLE in partnership with the Public Employment Service Office (PESO)-Bacolod City, Department of Education (DepEd) and the Network of Guidance Counselors in Negros Occidental. “Enhancing the employability of our future workers is a desired outcome of the DOLE,” said Baldoz. “To achieve this, we not only facilitate job matching and placement of workers, but also deliver useful and relevant labor market information and career guidance counseling services that can help students make wise career decisions,” she added. Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, who graced the occasion, thanked the DOLE and its partners for holding the activity. “I look forward to making the ‘Career Extravaganza’ a yearly activity in Bacolod City,” he said. Maja Ma. Katrina Dajao, a teacher and GCNet Bacolod member, said the activity will open the eyes of the students on what schools offer what course and what courses match their interests and personality. Ma. Gemma M. Ledesma, Bacolod City Schools Division Superintendent, expressed hopes the activity will provide graduating high school students with insights about career paths in different industries, get information about the labor market and opportunities, understand the world of work, and reduce the number of job mismatch that can cause unemployment or underemployment. On the other hand, Lucy Muralla, program manager of the career advocacy program, said the DOLE expects the “Career Extravaganza” to bring positive results which can be reflected on the career choices of the students. “This career extravaganza will have a very big impact on the lives of the students and parents because they have been provided with knowledge and skills in choosing a career. Other resource speakers spoke to give the students insights to career choices they might want to consider after graduation, such as maritime, healthcare, aviation, manufacturing, engineering, construction, business process outsourcing/information technology, and hotel and restaurant. At the culmination of the activity, school representatives modeled their career choices by wearing career costumes in a contest where the most well-dressed was selected and awarded. END/Amalia N. Judicpa

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