Columbia County school and business officials announced April 18 a new partnership to improve the technical education of students.
The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce announced the Industry/Education Partnership at a news conference April 18. Attending the news conference at the chamber's office were Dennis Ziegler (speaking), James Frye (from left), Gordon Renshaw, George Lee, Terry Elam and Tommy Price.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
In the hopes of boosting the interest in technical careers and improving the quality of the future work force in Columbia County schools, the Manufacturers Council of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia County Board of Education, Augusta Technical College and the National Science Center have joined to introduce programs to accomplish those goals.
"We want to do all we can to prepare people in our high schools to be successful in our kinds of businesses," said George Lee, a director of manufacturing at Club Car Inc. and co-chairman of the Manufacturers Council.
The group has plans to identify career technology needs in schools and begin developing instructional programs for the 2005-06 school year, Dennis Zeigler, the president of GIW Industries, said at a news conference at the chamber office in Evans.
Some initial programs the coalition might provide include job fairs, tours of manufacturing operations, guest teachers and after-school programs.
"The school system welcomes any effort ... to improve the educational opportunities of our students," schools Superintendent Tommy Price said.
Augusta Tech President Terry Elam said such a partnership also can better educate students on what skills are needed to find a job in manufacturing.
"Many students don't have a clue what it takes to get in- to the work force," Elam said.
Price said other groups had suggested programs in the past, but none followed through.
"I'm hopeful that with the coordination we have in place, this will remain viable," he said.
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