School 2 Work puts graduating seniors directly into jobs

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

When Troup County School System seniors toss their graduation caps in the air next week as a culmination to the graduation ceremony, they will be entering the workforce stage of life. It has just gotten easier thanks to the School 2 Work partnership between LaGrange Development Authority and TCSS. 

Recently, close to 30 students visited local advanced manufacturing companies because they are looking to go directly to work after graduation. In three days, they were able to see the inner workings of the organizations, meet hiring managers, and interview for available positions where they can graduate on Friday and become a working employee on Monday. 

Kelley Bush, senior development specialist with the City of LaGrange, said the planning has been in place for a few years. The jobs were there and available’ she only needed the right contact to provide students who were looking to start careers sooner rather than later. She found that person when she was introduced to Nichelle Wimbush, Coordinator of Secondary Education for TCSS.

“We knew there was a segment of our young people who needed an opportunity to work,” Bush said. “These seniors are our future workforce. Even if they are not the student with straight A’s or B’s, there is a place for them in our local community where they can step in, provide for their family and be a part of the workforce.” 

She continued, “Our job in School 2 Work is to help them see the opportunity and make the connection. It is up to them to have a successful interview and get the job, but we are facilitating that process. It’s a win-win for workforce development and our young, untapped students who are ready to work.”

Hiring managers from Sejong, Caterpillar, Yasufuku, Mauser, Trinidad Benham and Badcock Distribution interviewed students at the Troup County Board of Education. All activities were facilitated between the local organizations, City of LaGrange and Troup County School System. 

“School 2 Work is a great transition plan for those kids who may not want to go to college or who may not have supports at home or who may not even realize there are jobs right here in Troup County that are available to them,” Wimbush said. “It gives them a plan for the future. It also celebrates their choices and accomplishments through providing a way for them to have viable work options even before they graduate.”