DETROIT (WWJ) – Nearly 500 Detroit area students will see their “shadows” on Groundhog Day, Thursday, Feb. 2. That is to say — they will emerge from their classrooms and enjoy a day job shadowing career professionals at top area companies.

National Groundhog Job Shadow Day is coordinated locally by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan. The program helps kids gain greater understanding about the skills and education required for a myriad of careers.

READ MORE: The Detroit Zoo To Host Its Final Weekend Of Family-Friendly Halloween Event 'Zoo Boo' Oct. 22-24

Groups of students from 15 United Way Turnaround schools will travel to 13 participating companies including General Motors, DTE, Bank of America, eTitle Agency and Kelly Services, to name a few. At each location they will meet with company representatives, tour facilities and engage in training exercises such as mock interviews.

READ MORE: Tillson Street's Halloween Displays Draws Thousands

Prior to visiting companies, students participate in self-assessment surveys to identify skills and narrow down possible areas of interest as well as several classroom sessions related to the job shadow experience.

MORE NEWS: Kalamazoo Tests For Lead Exposure Following High-Lead Level Reports In Other Michigan Cities

Around the country, more than a million students nationwide and 100,000 businesses are expected to participate in some type of job shadow experience. In addition to providing real-life experiences in the work world, job shadow activities increase attendance and graduation rates among high school students.