EDA, schools partner for new training

Published 11:13pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not every high school student desires to attend college, and students in Selma and Dallas County who choose to bypass college may wish to go straight into the workforce instead.

Selma High School understands the needs of those students who would rather work than go to college. Its career technical department has partnered with the Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority to provide funding to train three teachers and provide classroom resources through the SmartWorkEthics curriculum.

Wayne Vardaman, president of the Selma-Dallas County Center for Commerce and executive director for EDA, presented one of the teachers, Katrina Smith, with a $5,700 check donation in late February, to help train Smith and her students for the fall program.

“The school was in need,” Vardman said. “I was impressed with what the school was doing and we believe the donation will be a good investment and will pay good returns.”

The SmartWorksEthics program provides such fundamentals as character development, life, communication, organizational, interpersonal and critical thinking skills as well as attitude, work ethic and hands-on work experience to students.

Vardaman also said the program helps students to be familiar with what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable in the career world.

“A lot of kids don’t understand that they not only have to go to work but to also show up on time,” he said. “The program addresses how to dress on the job and even how to write a resume. We just want to help our industry and put money into the program.”

Verdell Lett Dawson, curriculum director for Selma City Schools and career technical administrator, said the partnership between the city’s businesses and the program is the beginning of something great.

“We are excited about this partnership because this is the first time something like this has happened,” Dawson said. “Selma City Schools is proud to join high schools across the state and nation which are preparing students to leave high school or community college with industry certificates or associate degrees ready to go to work.”

The two other Selma High teachers also receiving training through the program are Tiffany Moore and Reginald Glover.

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