First-graders get hands-on look at careers on wheels

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Standing in the parking area near the track at the new Thompson High School next to one of the company’s Caterpillar backhoes on April 12, Brad Killingworth with Carmeuse Lime was all smiles.

As hundreds of Alabaster first-graders from Creek View and Meadow View elementary schools came by to look at the equipment and learn about what Carmeuse does, Killingsworth effusively praised the organizers of the morning’s “Careers on Wheels” event.

“Not everybody can be the president or a doctor. There are a wide range of fields these kids can go into when they grow up. This is a good event,” Killingworth said. “This shows them that there are a lot of jobs available out there.”

During the event, nearly 500 first-graders cycled through stations featuring vehicles from area organizations and companies, such as USA Ready Mix, Carmeuse, Alabama Power, WZZK, 95.7 Jamz, the Alabaster police and fire departments and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

At each station, representatives from each company explained the kind of jobs available in the field, and allowed the kids to get an up-close look at the vehicles the companies use, such as bucket trucks, fire trucks, helicopters, mobile broadcasting vans and more.

Nearly 100 THS students from the Peer Helpers organization and multiple athletic teams helped during the event.

“This is an opportunity to get our first-graders exposed to careers they may not have thought of before,” said THS Career Coach Niva Roberson. “It took a whole team to make all of this happen, and we hope to make it an annual event.

THS Principal Dr. Wesley Hester said the school was happy to host the event, and praised the THS students who were helping throughout the day.

“For our (THS) students, it’s kind of a nice reminder of what it’s like to be that young and be able to dream big and imagine,” Hester said. “I hope seeing the first-graders reminds them that their own dreams and goals for the future are still wide open.”

See all photos here.