"If we want to see economic recovery that we heard about in the debate last night and if we want to see the strides in the economy that we want they've got to be trained in the areas that are most in need,"
Rene Day is coordinator for careers at Shelby County School of Technology. She say's she want's the council to see that tech students could fill vacant positions at their companies. "Even in this record time of unemployment there are still job sectors that have remained in need of jobs. And that's in the skilled labor area,"
State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice was on hand for the school tour. He says tech schools could be part of the solution for getting people back to work and stabilizing our economy. "Career and technical education, regretfully for years, has been considered 'it's for those children'. Whether you're going to be an entry level draftsman, and engineer, there's a skills set that you learn that is applicable to any of those careers," said Bice.
Speaking of skills, as the workforce development council met, students in healthcare science class and culinary arts class were busy sharpening their skills.
John Beard, president of Alacare home health and hospice says he most impressed with this."The number of students they're putting through are either going directly into the work force or going on to a technical school like Jeff state. I was reminded of the shortages of qualified workers that we have in so many areas," said Beard.
The school has a 97 percent placement rate. That means that students went directly into a job in their field, or a two or four year school or tech program.