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Program gives students job experience while at school

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by Bill Dunning

 

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Efforts have been underway for a few years now to help students be better prepared for what they will do after high school, whether it be a career or college. With the help of Brandy Scott, Spencer County High School’s College and Career Coach, the district has taken another step in helping students prepare for their futures.
The Spencer County Board of Education is now registered through the state to offer apprenticeships. At the August Board of Education meeting, three new apprenticeships were approved to begin within the district to help high school students gain essential skills plus hands on training. The three apprenticeships will be in the areas of accounting, information technology and building maintenance.
Scott says the board has taken a big step in the education for our children and leading the way for other districts to follow.
“The Board of Education values the work opportunities in education for our kids,” she said.
 “The jobs in the apprenticeship program are given to students for hands on experience and extra training in areas where they are interested in getting full-time jobs for the future.”
Students who were interested in the apprenticeships had to meet certain criteria which included at least a 2.5 GPA, a good attendance record and reliable transportation. They also went through the interview process first with the district superintendent Chuck Adams, then with a current district employee who specializes in the area of the student’s interest.
The students selected were: Jake Seigle for building maintenance, Jaxsen Honeycutt for accounting and Jimmy Compton for information technology.
For two years, these students will work for the district to complete their apprenticeships and will earn minimum wage at the same time. The positions will require the student to put in as many as 4,000 hours to complete their specific programs.
“This program gives the students an opportunity and reason why to come to school, plus they are working while learning which gives them a great and unique experience that we hope will expand in the future,” says Scott.
After they complete their program, the state will sign off on their apprenticeship and the board and the students will get a certificate of completion. The hope is to make students career ready if they choose.
Many other programs are giving other students similar opportunities. Just last week Scott welcomed leadership from M & M Cartage Co. as they met with four young men from the high school interested in the automotive industry. They are looking to hire a few students from Spencer County as a part of the co-op program where students can work as a part of their school day.
There are a reported 60,000 vacancies in the automotive industry alone, forcing businesses to look for ways to bring in students to help train them as they work. The M & M Cartage Co. is offering $14 per hour starting pay for the students, giving those interested a great opportunity to be trained and prepared for the work force.  
Looking to the future, there certainly are many plans in place to help our world’s future and our students’ future look bright and at the same time give wonderful opportunities for our students to succeed.