Stanly Community College (SCC) hosted Stanly County’s 11th Annual Career Academy for Educators (CAFE) event at the Groves Building in downtown Albemarle on June 18-20. CAFÉ is dedicated to the success of local educators and employers collaborating on educational opportunities and careers that are available to Stanly County Schools (SCS) students at SCC that will foster the future workforce pipeline for Stanly County’s businesses and industries.
This year, 24 participants represented educators from SCS elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, Stanly Early College and support staff. The participants in the program are key players in public school education, post-secondary education, and the business sector, with each having access to a network that encourages free exchange of ideas. Teachers are also able to obtain 2.5 continuing education credits for attending the program.
David Hollars, Executive Director, Centralina Workforce Development Board, commented, “CAFÉ is an excellent example of how workforce and education partners in Stanly County are working together to ensure the talent pipeline is in place for employers in the county. CAFÉ exposes the educators to the great careers (and products and services) that Stanly County businesses offer. In addition, educators can take the lessons learned through observation and questions with local businesses and incorporate it into their work with students in the classroom. CAFÉ is talent development at the highest level. The Centralina Workforce Development Board is once again proud to sponsor and be a part of the success that is CAFÉ.”
The three-day event began with welcoming remarks by Dr. John Enamait, President, Stanly Community College, followed by Dr. Jeff James, Superintendent, Stanly County Schools, Kathy Almond, President, Stanly County Chamber of Commerce and David Hollars, Executive Director, Centralina Workforce Development Board.
Presentations on the first day began with Steve Cumming, SCC’s Career and College Promise (CCP) Coordinator/Liaison, who discussed CCP. Mr. Cumming emphasized the pathways that are available to students in high school that would allow them to take tuition-free college classes while attending high school.
Next, Ivey Mabe, SCS Graduate and SCC Welding Program Alumnus, discussed his CCP Pathway journey that led him to full-time employment at Preformed Line Products, which is located in Albemarle. Also on day one, participants toured Chicago Tube & Iron (Locust) and visited SCC’s Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center.
Day 2 began with a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Standafer, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator, North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS). She discussed how youth apprenticeships are designed through the NCCCS, in partnerships with community colleges and local employers, to allow students to continue their education while working as an apprentice within an approved apprenticeship industry. After her presentation, participants toured Preformed Line Products and Enforge (Albemarle).
The final day was facilitated by Summer Cortinas, BioNetwork Engagement Coordinator, North Carolina Community College System. Ms. Cortinas stated, “The BioNetwork’s STEM outreach programming aligns educational outcomes with industry skills to provide students and faculty with engaging hands-on experiences. We work with local schools and community colleges to expose kids of all ages to exciting life science careers here in North Carolina.”
The SCS participants worked together in teams doing STEM activities and lab experiments that they can utilize in their classrooms.
Krista Bowers, Economic and Workforce Development Coordinator, Stanly CC, stated, “On behalf of Stanly Community College and the Economic and Workforce Development Division, I would like to sincerely thank all of our partners that made the 2018 CAFÉ event a success. Stanly County industries have numerous job opportunities available to the citizens of Stanly County. By marrying the Stanly County School System with the programs at Stanly Community College via the Career and College Promise Programs, students can be exposed to and get educationally prepared for employment in our local businesses and industries. By providing this knowledge to students and teachers as early as the elementary age a foundation can be laid in which to build upon for a skilled and qualified workforce in Stanly County.”
Anna Lashua, who teaches at Norwood Elementary School, commented, “BioNetwork, love it! I teach science so I can’t wait to incorporate it in the classroom.”
Melissa Belk, who teaches at Central Elementary School, commented, “This is my second year to participate in the CAFE program. I have found that I talk differently to my students. I use more manufacturing language, incorporate Standard Operating Procedures, and add real-world connections to their learning. I also incorporate more cooperative learning activities.”
Partners for this year’s event included Centralina Workforce Development Board, Stanly Community College, Stanly County Chamber of Commerce, Stanly County School System, Stanly County Economic Development Commission, and For Stanly, Inc.