State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman joined local school leaders to unveil a new initiative Thursday morning.
The Aligning for Success program was unveiled at Spartanburg Community College. The initiative, a result of a public-private partnership spearheaded by SCC, is designed to make students in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties think about their desired careers and set their educational paths toward those jobs. Other school districts across the state also will be able to use the program.
Spearman praised the efforts of SCC and local education leaders, citing successful area colleges and school districts.
“You are doing exactly what needs to happen,” Spearman told local superintendents and school officials. “Our vision now is that every graduate is prepared for success. When you start with 'every,' that's the challenge.”
Spearman was joined by Spartanburg Community College President Henry Giles; Brian Rogers, business banking manager with Wells Fargo; Doug Smith, with the RBC Heritage Golf Classic Foundation; Spartanburg District 7 Superintendent Russell Booker; and Sam Hook, executive director of the Spartanburg Community College Foundation.
Giles said the initiative is critical in a state with a large manufacturing presence. He said roughly 27 percent of the state's workforce is employed in manufacturing, and another 18 percent work in construction.
“It's important we have the ability to educate and train workers,” he said. “This community is built on workers and manufacturing.”
Booker spoke on behalf of the nine area superintendents. He said area schools are getting ready to welcome back almost 60,000 students for the fall.
“They come to us full of potential, full of hope and full of dreams,” he said.
Booker said the initiative will examine what success looks like for every student, in addition to giving teachers and counselors the materials needed to help students.
Spartanburg County is flourishing, said Rep. Rita Allison, R-Lyman. She said as the chairwoman of the Education and Public Works committees, she understood the challenge educators face training students for a life beyond high school.
“All of you pulling together has brought that breath of fresh air to the area,” she said. “Together, you are bringing better jobs, brighter futures and a more prosperous South Carolina.”
The event ended with a presentation of the video that will be available online for every student across the state. The video takes students through employment opportunities and the necessary skills for those opportunities.
Giles concluded the morning by thanking the area's superintendents and teachers. He said he hopes Aligning for Success can help make the area a better place through education.
“This community is doing great things,” he said. “And it's because of the teams of people working together to make Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties an even better place to live.”
More information about the program can be found at www.aligningforsuccess.com.
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