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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) Students looking to plan their future got a hands on experience with technical professions.

We're the largest agricultural county this side of the Mississippi, so I feel like there's a great need for a large animal vet down here.

With just a QR code scan, Ashlyn Reddick might switch her plans from being a veterinarian to a skilled trade professional.

“I already had my future planned out,” the senior at Burke County High School told us.

Be Pro Be Proud wheeled its 40 foot rig into Burke County High School to help her clearly weigh her options and make that 180 degree career turn if she chooses. Once connected, she hopped on board and selected her first simulator game, hand and eye coordination.  “It gives me anxiety. I’m not good at doing fast paced stuff,” she said.  Then she tried her hand at binding metal using virtual welding, a job she first learned from her dad. Just as Reddick explored her future, so did many other students, assembling PVC pipe as plumbers, simulating an experience as a truck driver and discovering robotics and automation. 

“There are more retiring than there are actually going into the field of skilled trades.” Reginald Lagrone said his main goal is to close the gap that now exist between kids graduating from high school and available jobs using their hands. He added, “Not a lot of students are encouraged to go into the skilled trade profession such as plumbing or brick masonry or construction or carpentry. 

And at Burke County High, Kathy Johnson tells us they try to tackle what’s the best fit for students ahead of time.

“So, the very first thing I like to do with my students is to give them some type of assessment and the assessment will kind of tell me their aptitude, what they like, what they don’t like, if they like working inside, if they like working outside, if they like working with their hands,” said Johnson, Burke County High School, Work Based Learning Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator.

Be Pro Be Proud was somewhat life changing for Joshua Godbee. He’s going to add truck driving to his educational experience.

“I mainly just want to go ahead and get my degree while having a part time job so that I can make money and get my own house and start saving and investing. I feel like with a technical degree it can really help me get to the position where I need to be,” the junior said.

This is year two for Be Pro Be Proud GA, which started in Arkansas.

Source: WJBF News Channel 6