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Prenger Foods-Centralia teams up for summer job assistance

Posted on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 6:43 am

A local grocery store is helping a pair of high school students get valuable work experience.

Christy Hesser and Bill Power working the Preener  shelves.

Christy Hesser and Bill Power working the Preener shelves.

Prenger Foods is working with Alternative Community Training, a Columbia-based nonprofit.

Christy Hesser of Sturgeon and Bill Power of Thompson have spent the last six weeks learning job skills at Prenger Foods in Centralia.

They have been doing so courtesy of a Summer Work Experience Program of Vocational Rehabilitation grant, said the ACTs Adam Hays.

Hesser and Power were at Prenger, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday, July 13 was their last day of stocking shelves and bagging groceries for customers.

“I really liked stocking shelves,” said Power, who will be a senior at Centralia High School this fall.

Hesser, who will be a senior at Sturgeon High School, said her favorite part of the job was working with the customers, “And the teamwork,” she said with a smile.

“Christy is a very strong, social and teamwork person,” Hays said.

Not everything Hesser and Power have been doing at Prenger Foods for the past six weeks has been among the high shelves of canned and baked goods or the cool fines of produce and frozen and fresh foods.

Hays said the last two hours of every day he works with the pair on their soft skills.

Those include:

• communication

• enthusiasm

• attitude

• teamwork

• networking

• problem solving

• professionalism 

• critical thinking

Those are the types of things, Hays said, that will help the two adapt to and thrive in different work-place cultures as they move up the professional ladder.

“This is all about helping high school kids get work experience and start building a resume,” Hays said. “We hope it will lead to them having a resume that will help them get a job before and during college to help them pay their way through school.”

Hesser said that was her goal and she hoped to study animal sciences at Moberly Area Community College.