Local educators honored by Jackson Chamber, get updates on workforce development programs

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson Chamber held an “education breakfast” to honor educators and partners in education who are striving to give students opportunities.

Educators, community leaders, and school officials gathered at the Jackson Country Club for “Building Generational Talent,” a presentation about the innovation and influence of career and technical education.

“Our theme for today’s presentation is a community that works together, so we really want to focus on the employability skills that our students need to be ready to join the Madison County workforce,” said Dr. Teresa McSweeney, Director of Innovation for JMCSS.

The presentation highlights some of the practices students are currently working on and making sure that schools, along with students, are future ready and future forward.

“We’ve been able to add several programs, for instance this fall we’re adding bio stem, we’re adding technology, we’re adding cosmetology, we’re adding teaching as a profession and we’re adding an engineering program, and so we’re adding several programs of high need in our area,” said Nathan Lewis, JMCSS CTE Director.

Lewis says he’s grateful to have these programs offered in our region, giving the students the opportunity to not only navigate their skills, but also prepare them for different post grad options.

“One of my students the other day was so excited because he received his forklift certification and was driving a forklift,” Lewis said. “And he’s been at Stanley Black and Decker now for three years and loves it, and wants to continue working there.”

These programs are not only about career technical education, but also soft skills like resume writing, accountability and all of the skills that go hand in hand with starting a career.

“We’ve had vocational courses in our schools for decades, it’s not a new concept, but we know we always need to be future focused and innovative with those courses and not just think about what we need right now, but what we’re going to need in the future for our students,” said Dr. McSweeney.

At the end of the breakfast, the Bank of Jackson presented three $500 checks to three blindly selected schools in the district.

The three schools who received those checks are Liberty Tech, Denmark Elementary, and Nova Early Learning Center.

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