Shelby County students are college, career ready

By DAWN BONE / Community Columnist

Shelby County Schools take great pride in making sure the students are prepared for their next step in their journey, whether that path is college or career or a combination of both.

Every Shelby County middle and high school has career and technical programs as well as a Career Technical Center, the College and Career Center, that is available to all high school students in the system.

The middle and high schools offer a variety of classes in family and consumer science, carpentry, business, culinary, agriscience, STEM, JROTC, information technology and health science.

In addition, there are 11 specialized programs at the CCC. These students learn the content needed in their chosen program as well as soft skills and problem solving skills.

They gain technical skills through real-world career experiences and have opportunities to earn credentials and certifications in their chosen industry.

High school students also have the opportunity to participate in work-based learning and job shadowing in which they are granted early dismissal to go to work.

Through their career tech classes, students not only gain those real-world experiences, they are also able to earn scholarships to further their education.

Two students enrolled in the culinary programs recently earned a full-tuition scholarship to Jefferson State Community College’s Culinary program.

Two students from the robotics program at CCC have applied to the Mercedes Mecatronics Program.

If selected for this three-year program, students will receive money to help fund their college coursework while working at Mercedes.

Students finish the welding program at CCC with OSHA training which is good for a career in any industrial setting.

Several welding students leave with two or three different welding certifications and at least four of those students are currently employed in the industry.

The welding curriculum at CCC rivals that of several community colleges and because of that, three seniors earned a $7,500 scholarship each to Lincoln Tech Community College to continue their welding education.

In the Collision Repair program, three seniors are currently employed in the collision industry and underclassmen in that program have lined up summer jobs.

In the Automotive Technology program, at least five students have gained job placements with local companies.

Seniors in the Healthcare Science program at CCC completed an internship at Brookwood Baptist Hospital this semester. They participated in several “mock interviews” throughout the year, but by the time the interview was over, students were offered real jobs.

In the construction program, one student will complete an apprenticeship program in a high end custom cabinet company.

Another student, Ben Jones, who was chosen as the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce Career Ready Student of the Year, finished the carpentry program at CCC and not only works at a local construction company, he is also currently enrolled at Jeff State in the construction management program.

This is the first year that the plumbing and pipefitting program has been implemented at the CCC. Students who complete one year of this program will earn their journeyman’s card and all students in the plumbing program have earned job placements in the plumbing industry.

These success stories continue with internships through the cosmetology program and dual enrollment classes in the public service academy.