Marketing pros at State Farm Insurance Co.’s regional headquarters in DuPont will be among those from area businesses who will spend Feb. 3 showing area high school students what they do for a living.

About 150students from Tacoma’s Lincoln High School will visit the DuPont facility for the annual Groundhog Job-Shadowing Day, which gives high school students a chance to spend time with professionals in a variety of disciplines.

The program is sponsored by the regional office of Junior Achievement.

Lincoln students Charlton Ramsey and Tommy Reffalt, who both are interested in marketing careers, will work with State Farm marketing professionals to get a feel for their daily work regimens.

Mitch Robinson, regional marketing superintendent for State Farm, said Ramsey, Reffalt and their fellow students will attend meetings, not as observers, but as participants.

“It’s a morale booster for us,” says Robinson, and hopefully, we can help the students in making their career choices down the line.”

Eleni Hamilton, a Lincoln business teacher and coordinator of the school’s job-shadowing program, says State Farm was a natural choice because of its ongoing relationship with the school. This is the second straight year State Farm has designated a department head to work regularly with Lincoln business students. The company also sponsors a student-of-the-month program and college scholarships at the school.

Hamilton and fellow Lincoln business instructor Ricky Yates found last year’s initial work with State Farm so successful, they continued the association for the 1999-2000 school year.

“It was great—not only the job-shadowing but the mentoring State Farm provided the kids. It was inspirational,” she said.

Becky Wise, State Farm’s regional coordinator of Groundhog Job-Shadow Day, says executives were so pleased working with Lincoln students last year they were anxious to continue this year.

“It has been a very worthwhile project for us,” she says. “The kids come in very well prepared.”

Students attend regular business meetings as participants rather than merely observers, and they are fully involved in other phases of their host’s business days as well, says Wise.

“We believe our participation is the right thing to support our community,” she says. “It’s a very positive thing.”

Other organizations hosting students include Frank Russell Co. and Gig Harbor city government. For information about joining the program, call Sabbath Fitzgibbons at 752-9184 .

By Richard Sypher, Business Examiner staff