Susanne McCardle, in her sixth year as the Career Pathway Facilitator at Cherokee High School, took part in a new program during the summer called Teachers in Industry.
“It’s a brand new program; this is the first year that they’ve had it,” she said. “The thought behind it is, that a lot of teachers go straight into teaching right out of college and have never worked in business. So, it’s to give teachers an opportunity to get into some of these local businesses.”
McCardle spent 20 hours working on-site at local business Technical Resource Solutions in downtown Canton, where she helped to develop a schedule of computer classes to be offered at the company’s training center.
Not only does the program offer teachers a chance to gain business experience, but it also helps work-based learning teachers such as McCardle to see inside companies where their students may work, she said.
“I really enjoyed it,” McCardle said of her time working with the local business as part of the program, adding her mentor, Co-owner of Technical Resource Solutions Arlene Dickerson, “was awesome.”
McCardle said her experience this summer will help her explain to students what it’s like inside a local business, and what businesses look for in potential employees.
“I used to work in business, before I started teaching,” McCardle said. “But things have changed a lot.”
McCardle said a lot of her students are interested in computer-oriented careers, so working with a technology company this summer will be useful this school year.
The project, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, was designed with the goal to give teachers experience with employers where their students could possibly be placed for work-based learning.
Barbara Jacoby, school district spokeswoman, said local high schools offer students the opportunity to learn through real-world career experiences.
“All Cherokee County School District high schools offer work based learning opportunities for students, who earn elective credit for employment in jobs relevant to their plans for post-secondary study and future careers,” Jacoby said. “Students also are given schedule flexibility to exit school early, in order to do this work.”
Jacoby said Technical Resource Solutions not only helps by offering students opportunities for employment, but also by participating in the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s Partnership in Education program, donating hours of time to website maintenance for the Cherokee High School’s athletics program.