Workforce PhD Program connects high school seniors with careers

The new program for Effingham County students helps fill a gap for seniors looking to join the workforce
ECCA Workforce PhD Program
ECCA Workforce PhD Program(Sam Bauman WTOC)
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 3:28 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - At the Effingham College and Career Academy, “we like to think outside the box,” says CTAE Director Todd Wall.

It’s that thinking that brought about the Workforce PhD Program, aimed at filling a gap for seniors looking to head right into a career.

“We really didn’t have anything to help students prepare for that endeavor, because it’s huge,” said Wall.

Each Friday over the past four weeks these students have gotten a crash course on life.

“You know, they don’t take into consideration that taxes come out of your paycheck or the importance of benefits, of just having insurance,” Wall says.

In other words, “how to adult,” jokes Jessica Hood with the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.

ECCA teaming up with the IDA to help students with resumes, interview skills and team building.

Giving them a firm foundation, “just to have the confidence to go and get a good job and just, you know, rock at life honestly,” says Hood.

Last week they got to see firsthand what their future could look like.

“We’re just going to give them a tour, show them what we have to offer and maybe even offer them a job in a couple months when they graduate,” said A&R Logistics Operations Manager Lonnie Selph.

While they got to peak behind the curtain at businesses like A&R Logistics, Friday the employers came to them.

“This is a great opportunity to find some kids fresh out of school, new and eager and ready to learn,” said Wesley Wigginton of Pacific Cycle Dorel Sports.

Hosting a job fair, giving seniors a chance to show off their new skills, “ultimately it shows that we’re determined to be here, we want to show up on time we want to set ourselves up for a better future,” said Effingham Senior Joseph Howard.

But also helping out some local businesses.

“It’s such a difficult market right now to find good employees and to actually have an event where the people coming through are actually looking for jobs is a great event,” said Larry Show of Lineage Rincon.

Of course, for ECCA at the end of the day it’s all about the students.

You really need to make sure you’re looking at all students. You know, because all our students’ matter. That’s part of our vision here in Effingham County, that everyone matters, and we hope everyone succeeds,” said Wall.

Effingham County says they hope this is just the beginning for the Workforce PhD Program and they plan on expanded it even more next year.

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