New initiative to help students find manufacturing, logistics jobs

New initiative to help students find manufacturing, logistics jobs

VIDALIA, Ga. (WTOC) - The new “Make it, Move it” or M2 initiative is all about jobs in manufacturing and logistics.

The Southeastern Early College and Career Academy has spent years offering career technical training to local high schoolers.

"Students come here because they choose to. We don't have any required courses here and we don't duplicate the courses that are provided in our four home high schools,” SECCA CEO Shelly Smith said.

Students from Montgomery, Toombs, Treutlen, and Vidalia can take courses in automotive tech, healthcare, cosmetology, JROTC, Energy and more. For the first time, in the 2021 school year, students will have the opportunity to learn the world of manufacturing and logistics.

"We want the community to grow and the best way for us to do that is to continue to provide the programs that truly match our industry and workforce needs,” Smith said.

The “Make it, Move It” strategy will work in collaboration with local industries. The exposure to these manufacturing and distribution companies in the area is what Don Betts, a SECCA board member, says is key.

"Our area here in this region of Georgia has a real rich heritage of manufacturing companies and distribution companies,” Career Academy Board of Directors member Don Betts said.

The curriculum is still being developed, but the career academy says they hope to engage the students with these local opportunities for rewarding careers.

"It's a fabulous field with great career opportunities, great benefits. Jobs from HR all the way to engineers,” Smith said.

Smith said many students and parents aren't usually interested in studying anything about manufacturing or logistics because the perception of the kind of work is negative. SECCA is trying to change this.

"We've done a great job at the academy here of exposing some other good fields and now it's time that we kind of go back to the bread and butter and work on manufacturing and logistics,” Betts said.

SECCA board members say they will continue expanding the programs for what best fits the workforce that’s needed in the local area.

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