Published 12:00 am Monday, March 16, 1998

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / March 16, 1998

LAPLACE – The national Groundhog Day job shadowing day helped students learn about and explore different career possibilities. That’s not all.One high school student in St. John the Baptist Parish was hired by thebusiness whose workers he shadowed.

Waylon Ledet, an 11th-grader at East St. John High School, is now anemployee at Holiday Inn.

Ledet said school officials asked him if he wanted to participate in the job shadowing program and gave him an application of interests to fill out.

“I put that I was interested in computers and business management,” Ledet said.

From there the school placed him to shadow employees at Holiday Inn in LaPlace.

“I went around with Miss Alma in housekeeping to see how she cleans the rooms and how she keeps up with it all,” Ledet said.

Miss Alma is Alma Walter, Holiday Inn’s housekeeping executive.

“She was impressed with him,” Sharon Hoffman, restaurant supervisor, said. “She said he was very eager to work and very eager to learn.”After the students finished their job shadowing, employees took them out to lunch and suggested they apply for jobs at the hotel.

Hoffman wanted to hire the other job shadower, but unfortunately the student was only 14 – too young.

“They both did wonderful,” Hoffman said.

Ledet was old enough to accept the job. He said he went back the next dayafter school and was hired.

“It’s a nice job,” Ledet said. “I was happy because my other job wasn’tworking out.”He sets up banquet rooms, serves at banquets and works in the hotel restaurant.

“My teachers are really happy,” Ledet said. “They thought I was jokingwhen I told them.”Ledet’s teachers aren’t the only ones proud of the success of the Groundhog Day job shadowing program.

“Of the seven parishes I’m involved in, many had between 16 and 60 students job shadowing,” Beverly Harris, school-to-career director, said.

Ledet said he enjoyed the job shadowing experience and is looking forward to doing more. “It’s fun,” he said. “I’m supposed to do another one soon forthe petro chemicals class. It’s a good way to learn.”Hoffman agrees with Ledet and thinks that job shadowing is a good experience for students. “Some employees we get have never worked andthey don’t know what it’s like,” she said. “It’s good for them to get toknow the system.”

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