COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Life after high school for many students may not lead to a college degree.
Lowndes County administrators understand that.
Now, they are leading a movement to prepare students for fields that need trained workers.
Their career tech center made an exception Thursday morning and opened its doors to multiple business leaders, as well as members of our local and state government, showing the potential it holds for students.
The Secretary of State’s office sent out a survey to thousands of businesses in Mississippi.
They asked “what do you need?”
Businesses answered almost the same across the board.
“The most important thing for them was an educated workforce, way over everything else,” said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “The second most important thing was community support.”
Lowndes County School District shows just that, educating a future workforce in their career tech center, with the community behind them.
“We want to make sure our kids have the skills to fill this need,” said LCSD Superintendent, Lynn Wright.
LCSD hopes partnerships with local businesses can show students a successful career path.
“This is where everything begins, here,” said Hosemann. “Only about 20% of our young men and women will actually get a collegiate degree, and 70% of them have got to work.”
“There are more and more jobs available but less skilled laborers to fill those jobs, and these jobs pay good wages,” said Wright. “They have great opportunities for a good future for our students.”
The lack of an educated workforce is said to be due to lack of communication between school systems and businesses.
Lowndes County’s efforts could begin a statewide movement to train the next generation of workers.
“Not everyone has made this kind of commitment, the commitment that was made here, which is the right thing to do,” said Hosemann. “I mean, we need to take it everywhere and tell them to do the same things, to vision what the workforce is going to look like in the future and train those people, beginning 10th, 11th, 12th grade, all the way up, train them to fit that workforce.”
This coordination between businesses, school systems, and government looks to go deeper than this.
By getting this information and training to students at an earlier age, like at the upper elementary and middle school levels, the state can supply its businesses with the workers they need.