58 INC and Chamber announce the 2022 Shelby County Career Corps

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2022

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58 INC, Shelby County’s economic development corporation and The Shelby County Chamber announced the 2022 Shelby County Career Corps.

The program provides paid internships to Shelby County K-12 educators who wish to learn more about the variety of career pathways that exist locally for students. It also provides a correlation between subject matter taught and today’s workplace by placing them with business and industry hosts.

The immersive experience gives educators an opportunity to better understand the workplace for which they are preparing students.

In the summer of 2021, seventeen educators were accepted into the program and spent three days with business and industry leaders in the Birmingham region.

“The Career Corps Program was a delight for us to be a part of,” said Brian Holley, director of project management with PRADCO Outdoor Brands. “All the educators we hosted were engaged and ask specific pertinent questions about our operations and discussed with us how they would apply what they learned from our operations into their class curriculum.

“It’s a pleasure to know that we are indirectly helping young people to understand specifics about our business, the industry, and how it applies to a classroom setting,” Holley said.

This program is made possible by a grant from The Holley Family Foundation to the Chamber’s Shelby County Greater Community Foundation and will focus on Alabama’s top demand occupations in target industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, professional services, construction and transportation/distribution/logistics.

Through the Career Corps program, educators will interact directly with industry and business leaders to discuss workplace skills, training and career ladders that exist in the workplace.

Educators will also experience work-related examples to enhance classroom instruction, student learning and career readiness. Upon acceptance into the program, educators will be carefully and deliberately matched with a company based on grade taught and subject matter.

“We’re pleased to once again collaborate with our partners at 58, INC on another career readiness program to provide hands-on experience for our partners in education,” Kirk Mancer said. “What’s more, our volunteer leadership believes this Career Corps program will be an excellent addition to the career readiness programming we’ve coordinated in the past with our schools throughout Shelby County.”

Companies are encouraged to host an educator so that they may share career opportunities that exist at their location in addition to the training required for each job.

Fully understanding those requirements, along with the knowledge of company cultures and trends, will better prepare teachers to share those opportunities with their students for years to come.

Lastly, companies can provide educators with an avenue to brainstorm mutually beneficial solutions for students that will ultimately become our future workforce in Shelby County.

“In an effort to continually address workforce needs in Shelby County, we are deeply engaged in workforce development initiatives and programming,” said Melody Whitten, director of development for 58 INC. “Therefore, when this grant opportunity became available, we were excited to offer an avenue for educators to interact with business and industry so they may experience the wide variety of career pathways that exist for their students and the skill sets needed to be successful in the workplace.

“We are extremely grateful to the Holley Family Foundation for acknowledging the long-term positive impact this program will have on educators and their students,” Whitten said. “This program would not be possible without their support.”

Applications are now open to any educator, administrator, counselor, or career coach employed by a public or private school in Shelby County. Educators, contact Kirk Mancer with The Shelby Chamber at kirk@shelbychamber.org with questions.

Companies interested in hosting an educator, contact Melody Whitten with 58 INC at mwhitten@58inc.org for additional information. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 15.