By Tammy Gray
Public Relations Specialist and Teacher Induction Coordinator
The mission of Emanuel County Schools is to prepare and inspire all students for college and career success through personalized learning and relevant experiences. To help support this mission, on Tuesday, September 6, approximately 100 educators, including ECS district leaders, high school administrators, teachers, and staff, were invited to load on school buses to tour 11 local industries.
Partnering with the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce, the Emanuel County Development Authority, Southeastern Technical College, and Chick-Fil-A, teachers were given a unique opportunity to see first-hand the career opportunities in Emanuel County. Teachers were assigned to one of four groups. Each group toured two industries. The teachers toured the facility, discussed potential careers, and learned what skills were required to work in that industry. Following the tours, the groups met back at Swainsboro High School for an overview of the initiative from Ken Warnock, CEO of Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and the Emanuel County Development Authority, and an inspirational talk from Britt McDade, owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Vidalia. Thank you to the following industries for hosting, educating, and partnering with the ECS community. The industries visited are as follows: AirStar Flight Support, Advanced Metal Components, America Knits, American Steel, Crider Foods, Emanuel Medical Center, Faircloth Forest Products, Hotset, Nordson, Stitch and Print, and Wincore.
Ken Warnock, CEO of the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and the Emanuel County Development Authority, commented, "It is an important part of our student’s education and educational experience to learn of the opportunities available in our community. By allowing the educational community access to local industries and businesses, the teachers, counselors, and administration will be better informed when giving our young people the necessary tools and advice to succeed once the students graduate. The Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and the Emanuel County Development Authority were honored to participate and have already seen the promising results from the excitement observed with the school system participants during their visits. This experience should allow a practical connection to the materials used in the classrooms.”
Stefanie Mason, Director of CTAE and Student Information System, stated, "Tours for teachers and administrators allow more open conversations in our schools regarding what is out there for our students after graduation. Having a supportive Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Development Authority also makes a huge impact. Thank you to Mr. Ken Warnock for inspiring such a great initiative."
Dr. Shannon Lawrence, School to Career Coordinator, chaired the event. Dr. Lawrence expressed industry tours have been part of a vision for the community, school district, and local industries for several years. Dr. Lawrence said, “I count it a blessing to be part of this initiative because it can help young people in many ways. I believe that Emanuel County is a great place to live, work, and thrive. I hope that we will be able to help students, teachers, and industry perceptions about the opportunities in our community. We have a great history, more infrastructure, a thoroughfare to the coast, and more opportunities are coming available each day. The future is bright, and it's a great time to be here in our county!"
Dr. Lawrence shared that more tours are planned, and the Emanuel County School District hopes to increase the number of participating companies. Please visit the news page on our Emanuel County Schools website to see more pictures.
PHOTO # 1 TEACHER PREPARE TO LOAD ONTO BUSES
PHOTO #2 TEACHERS TOUR LOCAL INDUSTRY
PHOTO # 3 TEACHERS TOUR CRIDERS POULTRY