From HERE to CAREER College and Career Academy

Catoosa County Public Schools is planning to have its “From HERE to CAREER College and Career Academy” open by 2022 and is seeking input from local business and industry leaders.

Catoosa County Public Schools is planning to have its “From HERE to CAREER College and Career Academy” open by 2022, but the school system is starting a pilot program this fall.

The first round of CCA students will study “industrial systems, technology, robotics, and mechatronics,” courses CCPS feels will equip them for the modern workforce.

But CCPS wants the input and partnership of local businesses and industry.

“We’ve taken students on tours of local industries,” says Marissa Brower, communications specialist for CCPS, “and they’ve been surprised at how automated things are now. Today, the workforce needs to know how to interact with technology.”

CCPS, Catoosa County Economic Development and the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce are partnering to survey businesses in and around Catoosa County about what they need in the way of employees — what sort of skills they need now and expect to need in the future.

The survey takes about 12 minutes to complete online. It can be found at catoosaeda.org/cca.

In addition to helping with planning courses, survey results are expected to help secure a $3 million grant CCPS is seeking from the state for construction and equipment.

When CCA is built and operating at full speed, the current planned career pathways are:

♦ The School of Law & Justice and Emergency Management

♦ The School of Nursing, Sports Medicine, and Therapeutic Services

♦ The School of Information Technology

♦ The School of Architecture and Construction

♦ The School of Education

♦ The School of Industrial Systems Technology, Robotics & Mechatronics

♦ The School of Logistics, Distribution, and Supply Chain Management

Partnerships already in place with local colleges will help students earn both high school and college credit for their work and get a head start on a career without going into debt, says Brower.

CCPS is inviting businesses to partner in the following ways:

♦ Serving on a Pathway Advisory Committee

♦ Providing guest speakers, career mentors, and/or job shadowing

♦ Providing student internships/apprenticeships

♦ Sponsoring field trips

♦ Allowing teacher “externships”

♦ Providing classroom instructors

♦ Providing industry specific lab equipment and learning materials

♦ Designated or undesignated cash donations

While the survey will be online for the next couple of months, the sooner CCPS has results, Brower says, the sooner they’ll be able to use those results to help move the reality of the academy forward.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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