Preparing skilled future workforce

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Career and technical education programs in each of the district’s middle and high schools strive to fulfill that mission and ensure the continued success of Shelby County by providing a qualified workforce.

A national survey, “Are They Really Ready to Work,” found that most of the potential job growth is found in the so-called mid level sector –– those jobs needing some type of post-secondary training such as community college, technical schools and/or apprenticeships.

To meet these needs, the focus of today’s schools needs to shift. Current focus needs to be on curriculum that integrates strong, but applicable, coursework with applied career and technical education courses.

There is a new emphasis on blurring the traditional boundaries between academic work and classes related to the world of work.

The goal is to prepare students who have a choice of either going to college or entering the workforce right after high school.

Career/tech coursework does not impede college attendance. In fact, these students actually graduate at higher rates.

Traditional views of career and technical education must be changed –– it’s no longer the old vocational education.

Take time to talk to Shelby County Career and Technical education students and educators to learn more about these exciting programs.

High school and middle school students from schools across the county got the chance to tour the Shelby County School of Technology during the Spring semester.

They all learned that the school offers programs focusing on everything from cosmetology to Cisco networking.

Empowering our diverse students to reach their potential through an innovative educational system is a mission of Shelby County Schools.

Rene Day is the supervisor of career and technical education for Shelby County schools. She can be reached by e–mail at