Area high school seniors and local business representatives will have the opportunity to get to know each other this week.

The Senior Day on the Job program, a joint venture of the Franklin County Development Council and Communities in Schools, gives Ottawa and West Franklin high school seniors a chance to look at various career paths. The event takes place Thursday.

“It is an exciting program, something that has been built upon every year,” James Oltman, FCDC executive director, said. “The idea is to try to educate students at Ottawa and West Franklin high schools about all the job and career opportunities that are available within Franklin County. There are a lot of jobs out there you can be employed at in Franklin County that some are not aware of. It is an opportunity to not only give the students a chance to see about jobs, but get exposure to jobs they may be interested in.”

Oltman said this is the fifth year of the program and it continues to grow.

“Businesses love being a part of this program,” Oltman said. “It gives them exposure to the [seniors] and let’s them know what they have to offer.

“After every year’s program we have at least a handful if not more [seniors] work with our respective industries or businesses to set up potential internships and job shadowing.

“We have new companies coming on every year. It is something that not only benefits the seniors, but it benefits the employers being involved.”

Oltman said the plan in the future is to have Wellsville and Central Heights seniors join the program.

“We do truly want it to be a true Franklin County Senior Day on the Job,” he said.

Oltman said the students are given a lot of things to ponder.

“It is a full day,” he said. “We expose them to a lot. We give them a lot of information. It is something that will benefit them as they figure out which career path they want to go to.”

The students will take charter buses to different places across Ottawa, Oltman said. He said the students will see different modules throughout the day.

“We do a good job of getting a wide diverse group of professionals throughout the day,” he said. “The hospital puts on an excellent module out there where they have different demonstrations. There is a small business module. They get to go into the stores and listen and watch. In the afternoon, they tour American Eagle and Kalmar. They do get to see in action some of the jobs that are available out there.”

The jobs program fits right into the workforce development plan that the Work Franklin County group put together this past year, Oltman said.

“It is a group of untapped potential,” he said of the seniors. “It is an educational opportunity. We feel this is an opportunity for our employers to take advantage of as well. In the long run, it is going to have some lasting benefits to the county.”