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 Alan Freidhof  with  DCD Counselor Katie NickelsonAs scholars enrolled at Dutch Clark Digital at Paragon are finding out, not only can one find work in Pueblo, but the positions can be rewarding professionally and financially.

A partnership between DCD and Transportation Technology Center, Inc. is the foundation of a new curriculum offering entitled “Working in Pueblo.”

Over the course of several sessions, working professionals – architects, drone specialists, locomotive engineers, accountants, project managers, machinists and so forth – from TTCI and partnering agencies like H.E. Whitlock Inc. present information about their chosen careers in hopes of inspiring the young men and women to one day fill their shoes right here in the community.

Presenters offer thorough insight into their job: what it entails, the education and training needed to obtain it, and compensation. 

A recent session saw a visit from Alan Freidhof, a project/construction manager with H.E. Whitlock Inc.

“If you go to college, you will go into a construction management class: it’s the same thing as project management,” Mr. Freidhof explained. “But project management doesn’t always mean construction. For instance, say you’re working for Lowes, and they want to put up a new rack. Somebody has to gather the materials, schedule the manpower, schedule what’s going to go on those shelves.

“You’re managing a project.”

“Working in Pueblo” is not merely informational. Each session is recorded by DCD scholars so that those learning remotely – as well as future scholars – can take part.

And to increase engagement after each presentation, participants are given a “discussion question” and asked to weigh in on the information presented as well as their colleagues’ interpretation of it. Alan Freidhof, a project/construction manager with H.E. Whitlock Inc., presents to DCD students

“Then they are asked to do ‘elevator pitches,’ to summarize what they’ve learned,” said DCD Assistant Principal Julie Shue, adding that students also are tasked with creating and then updating a resume, based on the information culled from the presentations.

Additionally, DCD scholars who participate in every “Working in Pueblo” session and complete the post-session activities have the opportunity to earn elective credit.

"We are very excited about this opportunity for our students,” said DCD Principal Rich Mestas, who was instrumental in establishing the partnership with TTCI.  “The ‘Working’ in Pueblo series introduces our students to career pathways by the professionals who love what they do and get paid well to do it.  This has been a source of inspiration for our students, because they are hearing about how valuable a high school diploma is, as well as the skills associated with it.

“It is something we take for granted, but the earning power of our graduates is almost 50% greater than students without a diploma.  More importantly, our students are hearing about how getting paid to do what they love is a very attainable goal."