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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tradition has it that when the groundhog leaves his lair Feb. 2, it could affect future weather.

 And when students from two local schools leave their classrooms that day for a University of Tennessee-sponsored field trip, it could affect their future career choice.

 Thirty-two students from Maynard Elementary and Green Magnet Math and Science Academy will be paired with work-place mentors at the Federal Highway Administration regional office in Knoxville for Groundhog Job Shadow Day.

 The event is sponsored by UT’s Center for Industrial Services, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

 Anthony Hancock, a CIS marketing consultant who helped coordinate the local event, said the experience can teach children the importance of transportation and encourage them to seek careers in that field.

 “Kids basically think of transportation as railways and airways,” Hancock said, “but we want them to learn the importance of other aspects, such as geography and sign-making. We hope this gets them interested in the whole concept of transportation.”

 Fred Corum, FHA regional director, said Groundhog Job Shadow Day is part of the School To Work program from the U.S. departments of education and labor, which seeks to pair 100,000 students across the nation with work-place mentors in a variety of career fields.

 “A job shadowing experience can be extremely valuable for both students and employees,” Corum said. “We look forward to participating.”


 Contact: Anthony Hancock (615-532-8657)