WCHS Students Introduced to Local Education & Career Opportunities During WACO Works
Forty students from Washington County High School (WCHS) participated in Waco Works at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC), an event geared toward exposing and informing high school students of local education and career opportunities in Washington County, Thursday, March 17.
Waco Works is sponsored by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce who received an EMC Electric Foundation Grant which allowed the coordination and creation of Waco Works with OFTC, WCHS and several key industries within Washington County.
“The chamber has a dedicated Education and Workforce Development Committee that meets regularly to implement strategies to support our education system and workforce efforts,” shared Washington County Chamber President Katie Moncus, “and Waco Works is an event that falls perfectly into all of these categories.”
After securing funding, Moncus and her team coordinated with OFTC and the high school, emphasizing their expectations were “to provide each student with an engaging day packed with valuable information from the most skilled leaders in the area.”
“We want to showcase diverse job opportunities for students and match the qualifications with OFTC’s available course path,” she added. “This gives the students the full picture from training into the field.”
Upper level Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) students were chosen by the high school to participate in Waco Works and toured several key programs at OFTC like Pharmacy Technology, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Business Technology and Management, Accounting, and Cybersecurity.
Students also toured local industries like the Washington County Courthouse, Washington County Regional Medical Center, and Shared Services, and heard from industry leaders on the types of jobs they have available, the training and qualifications they require of their employees, and what they look for when hiring new employees.
“Take advantage of what you have an opportunity to do today,” said Dean Wilcher, Director of Work based Learning for Washington County High School while addressing the students. “This is a great opportunity to learn about education, career training, and job opportunities close to home.”
In order to meet local workforce needs, local partnerships must continue to work together, and Waco Works is a wonderful example of these partnerships, Moncus shared; “OFTC is one strong link to connecting the dots.”
“We have to expose students to the career and education opportunities right here in our county; this is the core of what we do at OFTC,” shared OFTC President, Erica Harden. “So, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to educate and inform these Washington County students about a number of educational and training opportunities available to them.”
“We have a need for skilled labor for existing and new industries in Washington County,” she added, “and OFTC and Washington County High School can be a catalyst for that workforce.”