Workforce Development helps employers and future employees

This week, our community and others across the country are honoring their industries during Manufacturing Week.
I want to add my thanks to the firms that help make Lawrence County a great place to live. They create jobs that are the backbone of our economy, and they’re good neighbors that support local causes and events.
As just one example, several are opening their doors this week to over 450 middle and high school students from across Lawrence County. Lawrence County’s new Workforce Development Coordinator Hope McDow has arranged tours of Craig Manufacturing, InMotion Robotics, Modine Manufacturing, Loretto Telecom, Rick’s Barbeque, Miti, Inc., AOC Metal Works, and both Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technlogy at Pulaski & Hohenwald. These tours will continue throughout the school year.
The goal is to introduce these future members of the labor force to opportunities available to them right here at home. “We have businesses that are doing awesome things in Lawrence County and our students need to see them,” McDow said.
Her position is a hybrid that all communities need, but most do not have. It’s funded by our school system and Education Foundation and housed at the Chamber, another demonstration of the partnerships that make doing business in Lawrence County better than anywhere else.
McDow’s background as a CTE (Career Technical Education) business instructor who also oversaw a student internship program makes her a perfect choice for the job. She is the link between employers and the school system that helps make sure students are learning the skills they need for today’s job market.
The goal of facilitating these tours is to expose students to various college and career opportunities. By teaching students about local job opportunities, they are then able to make a better informed decision about what jobs they might like to perform as they grow and, therefore, what training options they need to pursue to make them most marketable for that job. Early awareness and making local connections are the key to meeting that goal.
Workforce development is a vital part of our economic development program: it helps employers get the skilled workers they need, and young people get the jobs they want.
One of the most common questions we ask children is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” These local career awareness activities will help them determine their answers and reach their goals sooner.



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