7/12/2017 – Hired Education program for Caldwell teachers looks to expand reach

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by admin


July 12, 2017


A program that takes educators for  a series of tours to local industries and discussions with employers needs to be expanded, according to economic development officials.


The Hired Education program each year introduces approximately 30 teachers and administrators from Caldwell County Schools and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute to the kinds of advanced manufacturing and high-skilled jobs that are growing in Caldwell County even though many people don’t seem to know they exist. Each year, those who have gone through the program have expressed astonishment at the variety of skilled jobs to be found here, involving such things as computers, chemistry, and robotics.


The intent of the program is to get teachers to spread the word to students and parents, and it’s working – but it’s not nearly fast enough, said Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray.


“We need to blow this up and make it bigger and have more reach,” Murray told members of the Caldwell EDC’s Board of Directors. “We have cool jobs (in this county) and they (the teachers) don’t know it until they go through this.”


Members of the board agreed.


Marty Waters, president of Marlin Chemical, said the program has the intended effect on teachers, parents, and students.


William Howard, vice president of human resources for Bernhardt Furniture, said educating 30 teachers a year isn’t enough.


“It’s a very small percentage,” of the teachers in the school system, Howard said. “The challenge I think is to put it on steroids.”


Murray said one of the drawbacks to the way the program currently is structured is it calls on teachers to give up some of their first days of their summer break for the tours.


Discussions have begun on reworking the program.


“We need to figure out how to do it, and I hope do it next year,” Murray said.


By Guy Lucas, (Lenoir) News-Topic


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