SA Works Job Shadow Day 2018

By: Brenden Mesch

February 2, 2018

San Antonio’s third annual SA Works Job Shadow Day was held on Friday, Feb. 2, matching nearly 4,000 San Antonio students with 130 local employers for a half-day of onsite experience-based learning. The community-wide event provides students insight into different industries, career paths and skills that employers value. Local companies have the opportunity to nurture the future workforce, encouraging a stronger emphasis on the professional skills and knowledge they seek in a skilled labor force. 

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Kennedy High School students will learn the importance of process and concept development. Students will be building and binding their own sketchbooks which are a terrific way of cultivating ideas and documenting process. Faculty from the Media Arts and Design programs at The Art Institute will provide insight and experience of how the process works in the industry to enhance ideation and produce results.

Memorial High School students will participate in a fully immersive culinary experience, preparing lunch service at RED, the student-run restaurant at The Art Institute. Students will train in front and back of the house restaurant operations and will serve each other the fruits of their labor. Students will be reviewed and critiqued by culinary instructors at the conclusion of the day.

“Job Shadow Day provides an opportunity for students interested in the fields of design, media arts, and culinary to experience their possible future careers first-hand,” said Dr. Brenden Mesch, campus president of The Art Institute of San Antonio.

Industries involved in the community-wide event include advertising, automotive, business, criminal justice, culinary, education, energy, engineering, finance, government relations, health care, hospitality, human services, manufacturing, retail, sports and entertainment, and technology.

“In 2017, SA Works engaged over 100 employers to participate in Job Shadow Day and we’ve seen that number grow this year to include new and returning employers choose to participate in the community-wide event,” said SA Works Executive Director Romanita Matta-Barrera. “Investing their time and talent is the most valuable contribution to these students who walk away with a better understanding of what they can achieve in their careers.”

SA Works is organized under the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to further align the community’s economic and workforce development strategy. SA Works has worked to activate and align key partners across industries, school districts and community based organizations. Job Shadow Day exists as an extension of the SA Works mission to address San Antonio’s labor skills gap and offer educators and students experiential learning opportunities. Other major SA Works programs include Summer Jobs and Teacher Externships. 

About SA Works 

Modeled after the US Chamber of Commerce Supply Chain model and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), SA Works is an industry led coalition assembled to develop a comprehensive human capital strategy to fill the community's most pressing talent needs.  The intent of SA Works, using the collective impact model, is to align the full extent of the community’s resources to achieve optimum employment for the businesses, industries, and residents of San Antonio and Bexar County. For more information, visit

About the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation 

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation is a private, non-profit organization leading San Antonio transformative economic growth through business recruitment, business retention & expansion and workforce development through SA Works. The organization is responsible for assisting over 450 companies locate or expand in the area that collectively employ more than 110,000 San Antonians. For more information on SAEDF, visit, or follow us on Twitter @SanAntonioEDF. 

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