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Georgia Program Highlighted for Learning that Works — through Work

“The idea is to bring abstract concepts to life to make them easier to understand.”

Those words are the crux of a recent 1,000 word profile of a school-industry partnership between Southwire, a Georgia-based manufacturer and its local school district called 12 for Life that is designed to tie education — particularly in math and science — to career skills.

In the report, the Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan House documents collaboration between company executives who were “increasingly alarmed by their difficulty finding reliable employees, a problem they attributed at least in part to an elevated high-school dropout rate” and school officials to build a program that ties four hours working with experienced professionals on Southwire’s factory floor to eight hours of classroom learning in an innovative summer school experience.

Though restricted to the Manufacturing Career Cluster, the Southwire partnership is a model for positive employer engagement. It embodies principle two of Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education, asan active partnership between employers and educators that delivers a dynamic experience to local high schoolers, and has already demonstrated a positive return on investment (principle five) for the company.

Against the backdrop of Georgia’s new bill expanding youth apprenticeship programs to increase work-based learning opportunities, Southwire provides a clear example of Learning that works for Georgia.

Learn more about the program here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

FOLLOW UP: Forbes also profiled Southwire’s 12 for Life initiative in their August 18 edition. That story is available here.

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