THE SHOALS-How many times each school year do teachers here the nagging questions from their students, “Why do I have to know this?” and “When will I ever use this again?”
Since 2008, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce has offered the Classroom 2 Careers program (formerly Workforce Readiness Institute) to provide exposure and create authentic responses for those teachers to take back to their students – the future workforce of the Shoals. The program has primarily been for currently employed classroom teachers, counselors, and administrators.
In 2019, the Chamber established a relationship with UNA’s College of Education to provide this opportunity for their graduating seniors each semester. On March 21, 22 and 23, ninety-five graduating seniors will participate in an abbreviated one-day program before they officially enter the classroom. The program will consist of five local industry tours.
The one-day C2C-intensive will allow these soon-to-be teachers to network with industry leaders, learn about local career opportunities, and gain understanding in how math, science, and other STEM subjects are used in specific jobs, especially in technical careers. This level of exposure will allow these future educators to share real world examples of “why students need to know this.”
The class will visit northwest Alabama businesses and industries for tours to see various technical skills in use and hear from the employers concerning their workforce challenges, the increasing demand for and decreasing supply of technically skilled workers, as well as the career paths and salary ranges to which these skills lead. The industry tours will include DURA Automotive, ProjectXYZ, TASUS, Helen Keller Hospital, Southwire’s 12-for-Life, and G&G Steel.
The program will be a fun, albeit exhausting day of first-hand, eyes-on, hands-on learning about the exciting careers in technical fields, while networking with business leaders.
This program would not be possible without the generous support from our sponsors, Shoals Economic Development Authority, TVA, UNA’s College of Education & Human Sciences, Constellium and the City of Florence; as well as an ACCS STEAM grant; and lunch sponsors ProjectXYZ and Helen Keller Hospital.
For more information about this program contact Stephanie Newland, email@example.com, (256) 764-4661.
Media Release/Stephanie Newland/Shoals Chamber