County Schools Help Provide Ready Workforce

Meredith Bounds Target Laurinburg

It has often been asserted, and proven to be true, that high-quality public schools have a positive impact on economic development. Whether it’s attracting new business to a community, increasing the productivity of existing businesses as a result of an educated labor force, or used as a selling point when closing a real estate deal, it is clear that public education has a definite beneficial impact on the economic “health” and vitality of a community.

One such area of the Scotland County Schools curriculum that has particular relevance to the economic well-being of our community is the Career and Technical Education course of study, or CTE. CTE coursework is relevant learning that engages students. Students are integrating into their schedule classes about: family and consumer sciences; health science; marketing and entrepreneurship; technology engineering and design; and trade and industrial education. Students are able to complete many of these courses with, not only a better understanding of their future professional goals, but with certifications that make them very competitive in the job market. Many of these graduates are choosing to make a career right here in Scotland County, and as Campbell Soup, FCC or many of the other local industries can attest to, these graduates that have these professional certifications are highly sought-after employees.

It is of particular relevance that we highlight Career and Technical Education at this time of the year. Nationally, February has been designated at National Career and Technical Education Month. This year’s theme is Celebrate CTE Superheroes. CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE educates students to be college- and career- ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields. There are many activities planned over the next month will illustrate the rigor and relevance CTE courses offer our students. You can visit our district website at http://www.scotland.k12.nc.us to find out what activities are going on at your student’s school as well as how you can get involved.

CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States and includes high schools, career centers, community and technical colleges, and four-year universities. With this breadth of impact, it is easy to demonstrate that CTE is a major part of the solution to myriad national and local economic and workforce problems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest growing occupations 2014_CTE_Month_logowill require an associate’s degree or a postsecondary vocational certificate.

At a time when job opportunity right here in Scotland County is so critical, CTE is ensuring students are adequately equipped with the skills to successfully enter the workforce and that businesses and industries are “targeting” Laurinburg and Scotland County as a place to locate and grow.

Meredith Bounds is the Public Information Officer for Scotland County Schools.

Source: http://www.laurinburgexchange.com/news/opinion-opinion_columns/3698563/County-schools-help-provide-ready-workforce#

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