Friday, July 27, 2012 —
The fifth annual Career Academy for Educators (CAFÉ) program was conducted June 26-28.
The CAFÉ program offered 20 Stanly County educators a chance to become familiar with the many opportunities offered by Stanly Community College (SCC); however, the program also helped educators and local employers identify the educational and social skills necessary for employees to become successful within their companies.
The CAFÉ program is sponsored by the Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB), Stanly Com-munity College, Stanly County Chamber of Com-merce and Stanly County Schools.
The opening session was at the Groves building, SCC’s Small Business Center in Albemarle, and remarks were given by Dr. Brenda Kays, president of the college; Dr. Sam DePaul, outgoing superintendent of Stanly County Schools; Tom Ramseur, president of the Stanly County Chamber of Com-merce; and David Hollars, executive director of Cen-tralina Workforce Develop-ment Board. Incoming Stanly County Schools Superintendent Dr. Terry Griffin also welcomed the group.
CAFÉ participants are key players in public school education, post-secondary education, and the business sector; each has access to a vital network that promotes a free exchange of ideas in which to improve future endeavors for all involved. The event allowed educators to earn continuing education credits.
This year’s participants included teachers, counselors, principals and other staff from elementary, middle and high schools in the county.
Jim Kohn with Resource Development Center, Inc. (WIA Youth contractor for Stanly County) also participated in this great professional development opportunity.
During the three-day event, participants traveled to Tuscarora Yarns and CCI Conveyors for a full tour and opportunity to gain insight in the skills and qualifications new hires of these organizations need.
Day two included an in-depth tour of the Stanly Community College Allied Health and Advanced Manufacturing departments. Arlene Childers from NC REAL took teachers through several exercises they can use in the classroom to increase entrepreneurial thinking among students.
“The purpose of the CAFÉ is to assist students in choosing their best career path considering the many educational avenues as well as opportunities to enter directly into the workforce after high school,” Marion Kinley of Stanly Com-munity College said.
The three-day event concluded at the Albemarle City Hall and was complete with several more learning opportunities.
Participants took part in speed networking sessions. During these condensed sessions, business and county representatives answered questions asked by the educators regarding skill and educational levels needed of graduating students and opportunities that may be available for them.
Representatives in the speed networking sessions included Dee Pankey, GHA Autism Supports; Rhonda Earl-Smith, Michelin; Sher-rill Smith, S&D Construc-tion; Master Sgt. Michael Laney and Captain Jeff Kidd, Air National Guard; Gary Gray, Zaxbys; Nancy Lipe, Falling Rivers Gallery; and Dan Tweed, Carnes Miller Gear.
The featured guest speaker for the concluding session was Vail Carter, business services coordinator for the Centralina Workforce Development Board.
Carter discussed the recently published 2012 Skills Survey of North Carolina Employers conducted by North Carolina Workforce Development Boards. He talked at length about the findings and how educators can help close the gap by helping to steer young people towards training programs and career plans that are beneficial.