Thoreau Middle School, located in northwest New Mexico, held its inaugural career day last week and three of Tri-State’s Escalante Station employees were on hand for the event. More than 200 sixth, seventh and eighth graders visited Tri-State’s table during the day-long event and learned about the diversity of jobs that the energy industry and Tri-State in particular has to offer.
“It was a worthwhile endeavor because many of the students grew up near the plant and were interested in learning about Escalante Station,” said Sherry Garcia, human resource specialist at the plant. “It’s great to have relationships with the local schools – we give tours to students ages 12 and up and many teachers take advantage of that,” she said.
Thoreau Middle School guidance counselor Virgil Brown initially contacted Escalante Station, which is roughly 12 miles from the school, about participating in career day as a means of helping the middle school staff communicate to students the important connection between school and their future career prospects. “It means a lot to our students and teachers to have professionals from Tri-State come to our school and share information about the world of work, technology and post-high school education,” Brown said.
Donna Kittle, training coordinator, and Jesse Hite, mechanic welder, talked to the students about the different types of job duties that employees perform at Escalante. Extension agents from New Mexico State University, local water and gas utilities and firefighters also participated.
“The counseling department received many positive comments about each of the Tri-State staff from teachers and students,” said Brown. He noted that the information provided by Tri-State will be used in the classroom and that the school plans to pursue a future visit to the plant.