State Grant to Help CCSD Align Career Pathways with Local, Regional Workforce Needs

Advanced manufacturing at ACCAJune 5, 2024

The Clarke County School District will be better positioned to align its career pathway programs with local and regional workforce needs through a new one-time grant from the Georgia departments of Education and Economic Development. 

Following a competitive application process, CCSD was one of 15 schools across the state to be selected and approved for the Why Georgia Works Alignment Grant. 

“It’s our goal that every student in Georgia will graduate ready for their next step after high school,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in the GaDOE’s announcement of the grants. “The Why Georgia Works Alignment Grant will help us ensure graduates can pursue fulfilling, high-paying careers without having to leave home. That’s a win for Georgia students and Georgia communities.”

Of the $203,564 awarded, $13,725 will go to CCSD, which will join the other districts for a full year of strategic discussions and planning with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to better connect its career, technical, and agricultural education (CTAE) programs offered to high school students with the current and emerging workforce needs in Athens-Clarke County and surrounding communities. 

“The real added value is in the use of GaDOE’s alignment toolkit and the resources to be provided by the state and the Carl Vinson Institute to further enhance our alignments to business and industry,” said Dr. Tomás Ramirez, CCSD’s CTAE Director. 

The upcoming year-long work with the Carl Vinson Institute will equip CCSD with financial and technical assistance resources to assess the district’s alignment of its existing CTAE programs and the local economic landscape and assist the district in developing and implementing an action plan to address gaps between CTAE pathway enrollment and workforce needs.

“This grant will bolster CCSD’s mission of creating educational journeys that empower all students to fulfill their potential and further serve our ultimate goal of preparing all students to become productive members of society following graduation – whether that be enrolling in college, enlisting in the military, or entering the world of employment,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Robbie Hooker. “This will not only strengthen our alignment efforts and partnerships with key community stakeholders; it will provide a more streamlined connection between our pathway students and in-demand, high-wage growing industries in Athens and across the state.”

“Preparing the next generation of hardworking Georgians to lead successful careers in all parts of our state is one of our top priorities,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “Building on our priority of creating a state list of high demand career fields, these grants will help schools connect their students with the thousands of opportunities available to them in fast-growing fields.”